Does having a Republicans in office always mean having better judges?


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i have read many comments about how we need to have a Republican president to ensure conservatives end up on the Supreme Court. Well I have tended to think that way too but consider the following before you assume that a Republican will necessarily do the right thing.

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New Oversight Of Supreme Court Needed
By Doug Patton
June 30, 2008

My old boss, U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, one of the few non-lawyers on the House Judiciary Committee, used to tell me about how Congress has the power to regulate the federal courts.

"Constitutionally, we could reduce the Supreme Court to the Chief Justice sitting in his chambers at a card table if we wanted to," he would say.

I thought of that unused congressional authority as I pondered why it is that the Supreme Court tends to pull its members to the left.

In recent decades, from Abe Fortas and Thurgood Marshall, appointed by Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s, to Clinton appointees Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the 1990s, liberal Democrats are rarely disappointed in the left-wing positions of their appointees on virtually every issue. Not so with justices appointed by Republican presidents.

Certainly there are reliable minds on the court that can be trusted with the strict interpretation of the constitution. Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas have proven themselves worthy of our respect in that regard. Similarly, Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito are slowly building a reputation for eschewing judicial activism and for defending the concept of original intent.

But Republican nominees frequently fail to live up to the hopes of those who believe in strict adherence to the Founders' constitutional intentions.

In modern times, perhaps the biggest disappointments began with former California Governor Earl Warren, a Republican appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower to serve as Chief Justice.

Richard Nixon's appointments of Warren Burger and Harry Blackmun were a disaster. Both men voted in the majority on the most infamous Supreme Court ruling of the 20th Century, 1973's Roe vs. Wade, with Blackmun writing the majority opinion. The result is forty million Americans aborted.

David Souter, appointed by President George H. W. Bush, has so abandoned any semblance of conservative jurisprudence that he is now counted consistently with Ginsburg, Breyer and John Paul Stevens on the left end of the court.

Two Reagan appointees, Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy, turned into two of the biggest disappointments of the era. O'Connor's left turn culminated two important recent cases, Carhart vs. Stenberg and Lawrence vs. Texas. The Carhart case struck down Nebraska's ban on partial birth abortion. Lawrence created a constitutional right to sodomy, thereby throwing the door open wide for the movement to legalize same-sex marriage.

With O'Connor now retired, Kennedy is widely considered to be the court's "swing vote." But increasingly, Kennedy's decisions are viewed as activist liberal votes. He wrote the majority opinion in the aforementioned Lawrence vs. Texas sodomy case. He voted with the liberal majority in the outrageous ruling of Kelo vs. City of New London, in which the Connecticut town was allowed to use eminent domain laws to seize property from one private owner and hand it over to another simply because the new owner could pay more in property taxes.

In two of his most recent votes, Kennedy sided with the leftists on the court in Boumediene vs. Bush and Kennedy vs. Louisiana. In Boumediene, the court granted habeas corpus rights to prisoners captured on foreign battlefields, thereby potentially extending the protections of the U.S. Constitution to every human being on earth.

In the Louisiana case, a defendant, Patrick O. Kennedy, was convicted of raping an eight-year-old girl. Louisiana law permits a sentence of death for such a crime, and the assailant was so sentenced. But in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that such a sentence constituted "cruel and unusual punishment."

Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O'Connor are both extremely enamored with foreign law. This is a problem Congress should address. Kennedy spends his summers in Salzburg, Austria, teaching international law at the University of Salzburg. He attends a yearly international judges' conference there.

Why should international law have any bearing on decisions supposedly based on the U.S. Constitution? Perhaps this type of activity should be curtailed or banned by Congress. Perhaps the size of the court should be reduced. Perhaps John Roberts reading briefs at a card table in his chambers isn't such a bad idea


New member
Does having a Republicans in office always mean having better judges?

It generally means have judges who are only 'less bad'

The current politicians from the Republican / Democrat parties will not appoint / confirm anybody we can be truly proud of!


Thank God I'm alive!
I happen to think that the ruling in Lawrence v. Texas was the correct ruling; however, the wrong court decided it. Clearly, this was a case that should have been decided in the plaintiffs' favor in a state court.

Be that as it may, let us all remember that the power of judicial review, which, by the way, is nowhere to be found in the constitution, was itself, among many others, a judicial invention that was magically discovered in the case of Marbury v Madison. Rather than toss aside the constitution, the justices gave themselves the power of judicial review in order to make the Constitution say what they want it to say. To be fair, yes, there has to be some organization responsible for safeguarding the Constitution, and it seems that courts, which are staffed with people who are more knowledgeable of the law than perhaps anyone else, are the most qualified to do it. However, I wish that it were possible to have a mechanism in place to ensure that decisions are made not in accordance to a judge's feelings, but rather, what the Constitution says the decision should say. However, since judges are only human, I guess that can never be completely possible.


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Yea, Kennedy can be a PITA sometimes but let's not forget that his swing vote got us Heller. Sometimes you have to take a little bad to get to the good...



Titles are un-American.
A lot of this has to do with the law of averages. Since 1950, Republicans have statistically done most of the appointing. If Democrats had put more people in, then they might have more chances to be disappointed.

It also has to do with the confirmation process. They want qualified people, but it's common to try and appoint people whose judicial opinions are somewhat low-key, in order to prevent them from being blocked in the Senate. If your candidate gets held up indefinitely, all the Republican crusading in the world won't help.

These hitches are just a result of how the political game is played. You can't always have it your way. Even on the rare occasion that a "total victory" happens, that too will pass.

Vir Quisque Vir

New member
No one should have a life time appointment to anything!!!!!!!!!!

Lifetime appointments are made in theory to reduce political interference in the activity of the justice on the court. In practice, the appointments and vetting are highly political. Robert Bork was probably one of the most qualified nominees for some time. He was shot out of the saddle because of the various litmus tests and political ideology expressed during his "inquisition" When you get to the concepts of the U.S. Constitution as a "living document", basically editable at will, whoever Will is, you have the makings of an activist judge with grand social engineering goals. With regard to the 2nd amendment, those who still hold and subscribe to the militia part, rather than the edict shall not be infringed, a lot of politicians, especially big city mayors, just ignore the 2nd in its entirety. You will notice that the Congress is reviewing a bill to basically enforce D.C. v Heller on D.C., and by analogy, Chicago, New York, parts of California and so on. I think back in physics, that was for each action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. These are a few of my observations, and your mileage may vary.


New member
The intended role of "advice and consent" for congress has tanken on a different status that intended by the founders. I agree with the comments about Bork and the fact that everyone wants to know how a judge will decide a case before it ever get to him is sad. Isn't this what we call being predjudice (pre-judging)?

A president has to appoint someone who will make it through the circus of the congressional hearings so that limits who he can appoint. I don't keep a scorecard but since the Republicans have held the presidency for the majority of hte time since 1952 and have appointed the most judges I can't really say that they have done any better thant the Democrats. You would probably have to say which side has appointed the worst judges rather than best and in that case I thnk the Democrats lead.


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I think we should shot at will. How about 10 years or 8 ,life time can really screw something up.


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republicans are almost always pro 2a, pro-life and pro-america (sometimes)

Or at least that has been their platform I am afraid however it has not always translated into pro-life pro 2nd amendment judges.


New member
Or at least that has been their platform I am afraid however it has not always translated into pro-life pro 2nd amendment judges.

was it Breyer that reagan put on the bench that turned out to be an activist? or was it stevens? i don't recall which one. sure they are not foolproof, but we got a robert and an ali-oto (thanks teddy) in instead of 2 potential radical ACLU types we would have gotten if Gore or Kerry were in office.

The SCOTUS is very important...we need to keep originalists on it since the courts are the last battlefield the left has to fight on.

Look at the fallout and the nonsense that goes on because of all the Clinton appointees...we cannot afford to give the SCOTUS to the left.

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