The winner of the November election will have the opportunity to appoint a huge chunk of the federal judiciary, as I recently observed. If the prospect of Obama calling the shots isn’t frightening enough, take a look at some his judicial picks so far. A second-term Obama, freed from reelection concerns, is likely to go even more radical in his nominations (although he may need to recruit his judges from Cuba to get further left).
At the Supreme Court, his very first pick, remember, was Sonia Sotomayor who famously said, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” Sotomayor and Elena Kagan have predictably moved in lock-step with the White House.
As for the lower courts, well, there’s David Hamilton, who, as I recently mentioned, held that praying to “Jesus” (by state legislators) would violate the Establishment Clause, but that praying to “Allah” would not. Obama got him a Circuit Court seat, in which he has voted to forbid a high school from using a church to hold graduation ceremonies.
Then there’s Goodwin Liu, a radical Berkeley professor, for whom the values of “free enterprise,” “private ownership of property,” and “limited government” are really code words for those who are anti-environment, anti-labor and anti-consumer protections. Liu is an outspoken proponent of re-interpreting the “Living Constitution” to guarantee welfare rights.
Or Edward Chen, successfully nominated for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Chen said the singing of “America the Beautiful” at a funeral was an appeal to patriotism that sparked “feelings of ambivalence and cynicism” in him. Like Obama, Chen thinks that the vacuous concept of “empathy” is the most important quality of a judge.
Obama was not successful, so far, with Louis Butler, a former member of the Wisconsin Supreme Court who John Fund aptly called “the nation’s premier trailblazer in overturning its own precedents and abandoning deference to the legislature’s policy choices.” So radical were his opinions that Wisconsin’s voters in April 2008 took the extraordinary step of defeating Butler’s bid to remain on the state supreme court.
The judges nominated by Mitt Romney could not conceivably be worse than the sort of hard-left jurists favored by Obama. In fact, there is reason to believe that his nominations will be considerably better – I will post soon about Romney’s record on the judiciary.