Judicial Fiat - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1990646

Judicial Fiat

The recent decisions by the highest court in the land have been criticized by the left for several reasons. There are the complaints about how three court seats were secured by the Trump Republican Senate and how the nominees were not forthcoming about their judicial philosophy when questioned about Roe v. Wade. Democrats, in their despair, cry foul that this court has undone the 50 years of stare decisis upon which Roe has survived.

To the first point, the Senate under Democrat control and led by Harry Reid as majority leader chose to invoke a “nuclear option” that bypassed the traditional 60-vote requirement to push through the confirmations of Democrat nominations in spite of the prescient warning by the Republican minority leader, Mitch McConnell, that this short-sighted violation of the filibuster would come back to haunt them.

And it did. When McConnell had his opportunity and a majority, he struck and secured three seats on the Supreme Court. Democrats went after these nominees with every means possible to tarnish these jurists’ personal character. If you play in the mud, don’t be surprised if you end up filthy.

The argument that these nominees lied before this court of inquisition about their judicial views on Roe and other sacred progressive-minded legal issues is disingenuous. If Democrats expected them to give their ruling on cases they might hear, they were on a fool’s errand. No nominee should or would reveal their thoughts on how they might consider the specific questions that a case might raise.

A fine Republican nominee to the high court, Robert Bork, was pilloried by Democrats for his frank and open expression of judicial philosophy. His “Originalist” philosophy was used against him, not his legal understanding of the Constitution, in that rejection of the most highly qualified nominee of its time.

Since then, jurists are reluctant to allow their hopes for ascension to the Supreme Court to be derailed by sharing anything more than their least controversial judicial views. Example: Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, a Democrats’ nominee, when asked to define the word “women,” her answer was, “I can’t.”

The Express News Group has taken the position that our Constitution is on life support [“The Way Back,” Editorial, June 30]. No, it is not. What is on life support is the idea that our Supreme Court was created to accommodate change in its time by creating law that had not been born of our legislative branch. It has allowed itself to become a politicized arm of our Executive Branch, as it has been used to bless the growth of our federal government by creating by judicial fiat, rights and powers that are rightfully reserved to our citizens and states.

Ed Surgan