Right Still Trying to Pick A Fight Over Judges

It is not very often that right-wing interest groups write to Republican senators, urging them to push for the confirmation of a handful of judges for crassly partisan reasons.  

Well, actually, that probably happens all the time. 

But it is unusual when they then post the letter for the entire world to see, as the Committee for Justice recently did

With the election less than eight weeks away, Thursday’s vote is crucial. It is the last opportunity to get nominees onto the floor in time for a pre-election confirmation fight that would focus voters’ minds on the federal judiciary as the canonical example of the difference between the two parties. This is the time to remind voters that it is the Republicans that put constitutionalist judges on the federal courts and the Democrats who are responsible for an activist judiciary that protected online pornography, restricted the death penalty, weakened private property rights, struck down the federal ban on partial birth abortion, declared the Pledge of Allegiance to be unconstitutional, and otherwise drove religion from the public square. Can the constitutional protection of gay marriage be far behind if Democrats have their way with the federal judiciary?

Many of you ran and won in 2002 and 2004 because, in part, you promised to support the President’s judicial nominees and to end obstruction by the minority Democrats. Maybe some of your colleagues who last ran in 2000 do not realize that things have changed. Perhaps you should consider those candidates running in 2006 who are not yet in your meetings but could use the judges issue to their advantage, if only you will tee it up for them.

Voting the circuit court nominees out of committee on Thursday, thus setting the stage for an up or down vote on the Senate floor, is truly a no-lose proposition. If Democrats do little to obstruct a confirmation vote, Republicans senators can claim credit for improving the judiciary. However, if Democrats filibuster or otherwise stand in the way of a vote, it will be clear to the public which party is the party of the obstruction and which party is trying to end judicial activism. Do not worry about whether Republicans have the votes to win the confirmation battle. The goal is to remind the American people of what is at stake when they vote on November 7.

Since the confirmation of Justice Alito in January, Republican senators have missed various opportunities to keep the judges issue on voters’ minds. As a result, Senate Democrats have barely had to lift a finger to accomplish their goal of blocking the President’s conservative nominees. Fortunately, it is not too late to make the Democrats pay a price for their obstruction and to use the judges issue and judge-related issues to Republicans’ advantage in the upcoming election.

One of the nominees in question is  reportedly being opposed by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Sen. Arlen Specter admits that others are “embroiled in a controversy” and have “problems.”  This includes opposition by major police organizations and high-ranking career military leaders.  Presumably, CFJ is urging  that  senators “not worry about whether Republicans have the votes to win the confirmation battle” because there is a very real likelihood that they don’t actually have the necessary votes.  

But never let it be said that the Right will let facts or reality dissuade them from their desire to create bogus battles for purely partisan gain.