“The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves, in their own sphere of action, but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.” —Thomas Jefferson (1804)
It was the same response I’ve given every quadrennial election since I cast my first presidential vote: “For our Constitution — for the candidate who is most likely to nominate constitutionally constructionist judges to the Supreme Court, those who will promote Liberty over tyranny.”
Encouraging the “Never Trump” crowd, some of whom were considering sitting out the election, I asked them to consider “that the outcome of the November election will not only determine our president for the next four years but also the composition of the Supreme Court for the next quarter-century.” Sitting that one out was tantamount to a vote for Hillary Clinton3.
He nominated Neil Gorsuch8 to replace the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. His confirmation rendered the Supreme Court balance with four justices who abide by their oaths “to support and defend9” our Constitution (Chief Justice John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Gorsuch), four despotic jurists (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan), and one swing vote — Justice Anthony Kennedy.
With that nomination, Trump defied the Democrat Party10 statists who seek to subordinate our Constitution to the rule of men11, the irrevocable terminus of which is tyranny, and began the SCOTUS reformation.
Indeed, this week, 18 months and many policy successes13 into his presidency, Trump nominated his second Supreme Court candidate, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh14, an outstanding choice to replace Justice Kennedy.
While some conservatives are lamenting15 the choice of Kavanaugh over Amy Coney Barrett, I believe Trump’s strategy is to hold Barrett in the wings until Ruth Bader Ginsburg vacates the seat she barely occupies now.
In his remarks about Judge Kavanaugh16, President Trump stated, “He is a brilliant jurist, with a clear and effective writing style, universally regarded as one of the finest and sharpest legal minds of our time. … The Rule of Law is our nation’s proud heritage. It is the cornerstone of our freedom. It is what guarantees equal justice. And the Senate now has the chance to protect this glorious heritage by sending Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.”
For his part, Kavanaugh said, “My judicial philosophy is straightforward. A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law. A judge must interpret statutes as written. And a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent.”
Trump’s nominee even drew praise from quarters that give Trump no quarter.
George W. Bush declared, “President Trump has made an outstanding decision in nominating Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. Brett is a brilliant jurist who has faithfully applied the Constitution and laws throughout his 12 years on the D.C. Circuit.” Bush nominated Kavanaugh to the 3rd Circuit Court in 2003.
But much more formidable was this affirmation from Sen. John McCain: “Judge Brett Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials and a strong record of upholding the Constitution. He is widely respected as a fair, independent and mainstream judge. I look forward to the Senate moving forward with a fair and thorough confirmation process.”
That affirmation clears a hurdle to Senate confirmation, though two other Republican votes are in question: Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Maine’s Susan Collins. On the other hand, there are four Democrats whose votes may not comport with party lines: Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Joe Donnelly (IN), Joe Manchin (WV) and Doug Jones (AL). Heitkamp, Donnelly and Manchin, who are defending their Senate seats this fall in states Trump won handily, also voted to confirm Gorsuch.
But Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) insists that voting against Kavanaugh is more important than winning elections this fall. “I will tell you, the men and women that I work with on the Democratic side really take this seriously,” he said. “They understand it’s an historic decision. It’s about more than the next election.” Easy for Durbin to say, given that his seat is safely situated in deep-blue Illinois.
Vice President Mike Pence summed up what Democrats hate most about Kavanaugh: “[He is] a judge who would faithfully uphold and interpret the Constitution as written. … Judge Kavanaugh is a conservative jurist. He’s a principled conservative in the tradition of Justice Scalia17. When you look at cases that he’s ruled on — on limited government, on federalism, on the Second Amendment, on religious liberty — in one case after another you see a consistent judicial philosophy.”
Predictably, the fact that Judge Kavanaugh is an unwavering and principled jurist rather than an obstructionist taking marching orders from the Left has triggered unhinged Democrat histrionics18.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer offered this finger-wagging assertion that Trump chose Judge Kavanaugh to undermine the Democrats’ Russia collusion delusion19: “Why did the president stick with Kavanaugh? Because he’s worried that Mr. Mueller will go to the Court and ask that the president be subpoenaed and ask to do other things necessary to move the investigation forward. And President Trump knows that Kavanaugh will be a barrier to preventing that investigation going there.” (Seriously, Schumer said that.)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, in her now-typical decompensating hysterics, declared, “Civilization as we know it today is at risk in this election. We have to win. We have to win. … Trump is using this nomination as a destructive tool on a generation of progress for workers, women, LGBTQ people, communities of color and families, and to radically reverse the course of American justice and democracy.”
Fact is, Pelosi is correct regarding the risk to “civilization” Democrats have fabricated.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) insisted, “We need a nominee who understands that the court must protect the rights of all Americans, not just political interest groups and the powerful.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) protested, “Kavanaugh’s record as a judge and lawyer is clear: hostile to health care for millions, opposed to the CFPB and corporate accountability, thinks presidents like Trump are above the law — and conservatives are confident that he would overturn Roe v. Wade. I’ll be voting no.”
Millionaire socialist Bernie Sanders (?-VT) screeched, “Kavanaugh will be a rubber-stamp for an extreme, right-wing agenda pushed by corporations and billionaires. We must mobilize the American people to defeat Trump’s right-wing, reactionary nominee.”
Clintonista and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe insisted, “The nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh will threaten the lives of millions of Americans for decades to come and will morph our Supreme Court into a political arm of the right-wing.”
Hard-left New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio concluded, “Trump wants to use the Supreme Court to undo what makes our country great.”
In my daily fundraising appeal from DNC Chairman Tom Perez yesterday morning, he referenced those very constituencies: “Already this year, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court sanctioned attacks on workers’ rights, further threatened a woman’s right to choose, upheld the discriminatory Muslim ban, and supported voter suppression efforts in Ohio — and that was before Justice Kennedy stepped down. So you better believe that with Brett Kavanaugh on the bench, Roe v. Wade, affordable health care, labor unions, and civil rights will all be on the chopping block.” (SEND MONEY!)
Not surprisingly, Perez’s Demo Party appeal mirrored the complaints23 of another leftist daily appeal that I receive, this from the Communist Party USA.
Grasping for straws, The Washington Post published an outrageous recommendation that Democrats pack SCOTUS24 with progressive (AKA regressive) judges as soon as they regain control of the White House and Congress — a failed tactic tried by FDR in the 1930s.
New York Times columnist David Leonhardt suggested25 that until Democrats can re-politicize the courts, “Progressives can still win many of these issues. They simply will have to do so in a small-d democratic way, by winning elections.”
Now that’s a novel recommendation!
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is singularly responsible for holding off an Obama Supreme Court nomination ahead of the 2016 presidential election on the off chance that Trump would defeat Clinton and restore some order to the High Court. He offered this seasoned assessment of the Demo hysterics: “This far-left rhetoric comes out every single time, but the apocalypse never comes.”
Finally, all the leftist laments notwithstanding, the contest for the composition of the Supreme Court is not about right v. left. It’s not about conservative v. liberal. It’s about constitutional Liberty v. statist tyranny. It’s about judicial authority v. judicial despotism.
Again, in Thomas Jefferson’s words, “The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves, in their own sphere of action, but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.”
Jefferson concluded that in the hands of such judges26, “The Constitution [would be] a mere thing of wax … which they may twist and shape into any form they please.”
That is precisely what the Democrats want in SCOTUS and what President Trump and Republicans are upturning.
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776