By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) You’ve no doubt heard 100 times that elections have consequences, and that’s absolutely true.
When Donald Trump won the presidency, his supporters were filled with glee that a Republican president would be paired with a Republican-controlled Congress to finally get a conservative agenda moving forward.
We were, of course, disappointed when we realized just how many RINOs there really were in Congress, especially in the House. Led by that political coward, Paul Ryan, little of President Trump’s agenda, save for tax reform, was passed during his first two years.
And after a massive number of Republican retirements, the GOP lost the House in November 2018, and now, as a consequence, the president has become just the third one to be impeached — despite the fact that he hasn’t done anything wrong or committed any “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
One good thing to come out of the 2018 midterms was expanded Republican control of the Senate. With a few exceptions, most GOP senators are supportive of the president’s agenda, and that is especially true when it comes to his appointment of constitutional originalists as federal judges and Supreme Court justices.
You’d think that every judicial appointment would be a constitutional originalist, given that federal judges are charged specifically with squaring laws and regulations with our founding document.
But of course, that’s not the case when Left-wing Democrats manage to become president and there are enough Democrats in the Senate to approve his nominees.
Obama appointed some of the most heinous judicial activists to the federal bench imaginable — men and women who couldn’t care less what the Constitution says but rather rule on cases based on their far Left political perspective.
Trump’s nominees, however, have been the kind of men and women the founders hoped for: Originalists who don’t see any other text in the Constitution other that what’s actually written.
Already, the president, with help from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and majority Republicans, has made a significant contribution to the federal bench, appointing some 133 district court judges, 50 appeals court judges, and two Supreme Court justices — or about one-fifth of the total number of federal judges in the country.
And he’s just getting started. Imagine how many more appointments Trump can made with a sustained Senate majority into and through his second term.
The Left is in a panic about that possibility, as evidenced by an article published in Slate this week.
You can tell the writer, Mark Joseph Stern, is sounding an alarm bell based on the alarmist language he uses to describe the progress the president has made in reshaping the federal bench:
These jurists are leading a conservative revolution that will upend decades of precedent and enshrine reactionary policies into the law. The transformation has only just begun. But for a glimpse of where the judiciary is heading if Trump wins a second term, Americans can look to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A traditionally conservative bench, the court has been newly reshaped by Trump—and quickly got to work translating right-wing priorities into legal doctrine that will govern generations.
The 5th Circuit’s descent into lawlessness did not happen by accident. Senate Republicans would not let President Barack Obama fill several seats on the court, allowing Trump to reshape it after taking office. He appointed five of the court’s seventeen active judges, who immediately allied with the court’s existing far-right bloc, which includes extremists like Judges Jerry Smith and Edith Jones (appointed by Ronald Reagan) and Jennifer Walker Elrod (appointed by George W. Bush). There are now 11 GOP nominees on the court and just five Democratic nominees.
Trump didn’t flip the court—it already had a majority of GOP appointees—but he neutralized the influence of moderate conservatives. Judge Catharina Haynes, for instance, was appointed by George W. Bush but sat near the ideological center of the court. A trio of Reagan appointees—Judges E. Grady Jolly, Patrick Higginbotham, and W. Eugene Davis—leaned right but supported judicial restraint and adherence to precedent. Trump’s five appointees joined the axis of extremists like Smith, Jones, and Elrod in 2018. This year, we witnessed the results.
First and foremost, the Senate is charged with giving advice and consent to judicial nominees, but there is nothing in the Constitution requiring it to do so.
In other words, if the Senate majority leader decides not to introduce a nominee for consideration, he doesn’t have to. And you can bet if the majority leader was required to do so by the Constitution, some Left-wing legal organization like the ACLU would have already sued to make it happen.
Elections have consequences.
Furthermore, where was this concern when Left-wing judges appointed by Obama were striking down President Trump’s lawful executive orders regarding the implementation of various immigration policies? Did Slate have a problem when an Obama appointee tried to tell the president he had no authority to declare a national emergency, despite clear authority given him by Congress in the National Emergency Act?
All of those decisions were reversed either on appeal or by the Supreme Court.
You see, when far-Left judges reinterpret laws and the Constitution to fit their political beliefs, that’s okay. But when a constitutional originalist appointed by a Republican president interprets the words on the founding document’s pages, it’s “lawlessness” and “right-wing extremism.”
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But the bottom line is this: The Democrat Left knows that it cannot win enough elections to form a political mandate for its repressive, unconstitutional policies and laws. So they rely on the federal judiciary to force their agenda on the American people under the color of law and legitimacy.
The longer Trump remains president and the longer the GOP controls the Senate, the less likely it will be for the Democrat Left to “fundamentally transform” America into a country like the founders rebelled against.
Panic mode is full-on: The Left can’t afford another four years of Trump and GOP control of the Senate. But the country sure can.
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