With Stevens Retiring, Right Readies For a Fight

Today, Justice John Paul Stevens announced that he will retire from the Supreme Court after nearly 35 years of service … and the Right has been quick to issue warnings to President Obama that they are ready to fight.

American Center for Law and Justice:

“The announcement of Justice Stevens’ retirement underscores the reality that President Obama will make a second appointment to the nation’s highest court that will impact generations to come,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ.

“While there’s certain to be much debate about Justice Stevens’ replacement, there is one thing that is clear – President Obama is likely to name a nominee who will embrace an extremely liberal judicial philosophy. Make no mistake about it – this appointment really represents more than just replacing one vote on the court. With a replacement who is likely to serve for 30 or 40 years, it’s clear this replacement will have a long-term impact on judicial philosophy and likely play a determining factor in decisions for decades to come.

“Once a nominee is named and the confirmation process begins, it’s important that the nominee face full and detailed hearings – with specific focus on the nominee’s judicial philosophy including how the nominee views the Constitution, the role of judges, and the rule of law. That is what the American people expect and deserve.”

Liberty Counsel:

Mathew D. Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: “The Supreme Court should be about law, not politics. Beginning in the 1950s, the Supreme Court morphed into a political machine. When judges impose their political will rather than the rule of law, the rule of law is undermined and the people lose confidence in the system. As Chief Justice John Roberts said during his confirmation hearings, judges ought to be umpires who simply call the balls and strikes. They ought not play in the game or change the rules. The American people deserve a Supreme Court nominee who respects the rule of law and who will set aside personal bias in order to be faithful to the Constitution.”

Concerned Women for America:

Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America (CWA), said, “The news is no shock for those of us who follow the issue. Justice Stevens has been sending all the signals for the White House to be prepared. Our hope is that President Obama has had time to reflect on the issue and will make a change in the way he has looked at nominations. Will he nominate a justice who will show respect for our laws and the Constitution or will he continue to put ideology over the will of the majority of Americans?

“All three of the nominees in the short list are not encouraging. Elena Kagan’s apparent willingness to look at international law when deciding domestic cases, Judge Merrick Garland’s support of granting constitutional rights to enemy combatants, and Diane Wood’s extremely radical pro-abortion activism should bring chills to every American. We know the President can do better than that.”

CWA President Wendy Wright said, “Coming off of a debate over health care that has deeply divided the country against Pres. Obama, in which he ignored the Constitution and foisted his contentious beliefs onto millions of Americans, President Obama desperately needs to choose a qualified and Constitutionally-sound nominee. It would be healing for the country for President Obama to change course and select a nominee that respects the Constitution more than their own –or foreign countries’ – ideology.

Mario Diaz, Esq., CWA’s Policy Director for Legal Issues, said, “The President has the opportunity to change the radically divisive image he has created in the minds of many Americans. If he decides to nominate someone who respects the Constitution as written, instead of someone who believes in a living Constitution that they can mold to say whatever they want, he can do a lot to repair his image.

“Last time, even his own nominee, Justice Sotomayor, rejected the President’s idea of the role of a judge, even though her own record lined right up with the President’s radical view. That is how radical the President’s view is in this area. So if experience tells us anything, it tells us he will go with ideology instead of what is best for the country, but we hope and pray that we can finally see a ‘change,’ like he promised us.”

Priests for Life:

“The opening of a Supreme Court seat will again open the ongoing debate in our nation over abortion — and it well should, not because Justices are supposed to shape public policy, but because the very purpose of government is the protection of human rights, starting with life. Anyone who fails to affirm that does not belong in any public office, much less the US Supreme Court.”

Judicial Crisis Network:

This vacancy will open a new dialogue about the role of courts in our society. The American people are fed up with President Obama’s left-wing agenda and will make their frustration known at the polls. But he still has one ace up his sleeve: packing the Supreme Court with rubber stamps instead of judges. To an activist judge, the constitution represents an inconvenient truth that they will distort, ignore, or defy to push their radical liberal agenda.

President Obama painted Justice Sotomayor as the epitome of moderation, but her record on the court has been anything but. In her first term she has yet to meet a left-wing position she didn’t like. When President Obama speaks about maintaining balance on the court, don’t believe it. If Justice Thomas were the one retiring, the word “balance” would have been already banned from the White House.

 Traditional Values Coalition:

The retirement of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is good news and bad news. It’s good news that he will no longer be free to impose his liberal ideas on Americans through his Supreme Court edicts. But, the bad news is that President Obama will undoubtedly appoint someone equally liberal and far younger who will rewrite the Constitution according to his or her political purposes.

Ultimately, the retirement of Justice Stevens and appointment of a new Justice is an even trade.

If President Obama had any honor, he would pick a replacement for Stevens who respects the Constitution, but this is unlikely. He will choose a radical ideologue who will push the Court to the left for decades to come. Obama will replace an old judicial activist with a younger one.