Back when it launched in 2005, the Judicial Confirmation Network burst onto the scene when it unveiled a study that claimed to show that “the American people are tired of the partisan, political maneuvering and the unwarranted character assassinations against qualified candidates for the federal bench.”
The JCN explained that voters wanted “Senators to do their jobs and hold a straight, up or down vote on nominees based on their qualifications” and thought that those who opposed President Bush’s judicial nominees were “just playing partisan politics”:
Judicial nomination battles are winning issues for Republicans. Voters overwhelmingly endorse the Republicans’ fundamental argument that qualified nominees deserve an up or down vote on the floor of the Senate. Because they reject so strongly recent examples of judicial activism, voters want judges who apply rather than make new law, and they want decisions about controversial issues made by their elected representatives rather than unelected judges. They want politics out of the courts and the confirmation process; therefore they reject the suggestion that pro-life views should disqualify a judicial nominee. Republicans and Independents overwhelmingly reject the arguments of the left that a conservative nominee will roll back the clock on constitutional rights, and even Democrats barely endorse that assertion. Republicans, Independents, and Democrats all believe that opponents of judicial nominees are just playing partisan politics.
Now that the White House and Senate have changed hands, the JCN is back and this time touting a new Rasmussen Report survey, which we debunked last week, that they claim demonstrates that what voters really want is for President Obama’s judicial nominees to receive an “unprecedented level of Senate scrutiny”:
The U.S. Senate will have the responsibility of evaluating and voting on President Obama’s judicial nominees. President Obama has advanced the most radical judicial activist philosophy of any president in American history. He said that judges should decide cases based on their own “deepest values,” “core concerns,” and “the depth and breadth of [their] empathy.” According to President Obama, “the critical ingredient is supplied by what is in the judge’s heart” — not what is in the text, principles, and history of our Constitution and other laws.
President Obama’s unprecedented call for judicial activism must be met with an unprecedented level of Senate scrutiny. For every nominee, there should be a presumption that he would — as President Obama has told us he prefers — decide cases based on his personal views. It should be up to each individual nominee to rebut the presumption and to prove that he would rule on the basis of what the law actually provides, as two-thirds of Americans believe judges should.
Isn’t it amazing how, in just under four years, the JCN has gone from warning that “Senators who play an active role in obstructing the confirmation process could well pay a hefty political price” to calling for an “unprecedented level of Senate scrutiny” for every one of Obama’s nominees.
I don’t know about you, but it sure sounds to me as if the Judicial Confirmation Network is now advocating for the all-out obstruction of judicial nominees.