While yesterday’s segment at CPAC devoted to judicial nominees – featuring Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania), who can count few fans at the event – was sparsely attended, even fewer showed up for today’s panel discussion on “judicial activism” instead of joining the crowds for Mike Huckabee and Wayne LaPierre of the NRA down the hall. Still, Jan LaRue of Concerned Women for America, Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, and a man named Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation did their best to keep the attention of the handful of conference-goers on the subject that was one of the most vigorously touted at last year’s CPAC.
The enemies remained the same: judges who “legislate from the bench” and believe in a “living Constitution” which they “write … at will,” and senators who opposed some of Bush’s extreme nominations or who participated in the “Gang of 14” deal that halted the march toward the “nuclear option,” which would have forced through a rule change eliminating filibusters on those nominations. Fitton said of the filibustered nominees that “liberals thought they were too conservative, and yes, too Christian.” LaRue described as “undermedicated” and “psychotic” Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, along with groups like People For the American Way that opposed confirmation of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.
The judicial heroes were also familiar: Roberts and Alito, whose successful appointment LaRue called the “biggest grassroots victory” in years; Justice Clarence Thomas, whom Fitton described as a model for “humble judges” who “restrain themselves.” In addition, Kreep singled out Janice Rogers Brown, perhaps the most radical of Bush’s appellate nominees, for her success in getting on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. According to Kreep, Brown was targeted because of her race by the Democratic Party, “one of the most racist” groups in country, which he said opposes any minority who doesn’t “kiss their tuckuses” and “say ‘yessa massa.’”