Saturday, September 26, 2020

No More Stealth Nominees. Use The Conservative Litmus Test On SCOTUS Candidates

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Not even our grandparents' generation, much less the Founders of this country, could ever have envisioned a day when to a huge number of people, the purpose of voting in a presidential election would not be for the presidency per se, but for who will choose the next Supreme Court justice. They would have laughed at the notion that a Supreme Court justice is more powerful than a president, but alas, here we are again debating a Supreme Court vacancy more vociferously than the presidency itself — because we have all wrongly entrusted the future of our society to the hands of unelected lawyers.
Before we elect senators or presidents, we are supposed to have a good idea as to their stances on the critical issues that will likely confront them. Given that the Supreme Court is wrongly regarded as a super-legislature, we have an even greater right – even a responsibility – to know where the nominee stands on the critical issues. No more stealth nominees, where we wind up getting justices selected by so-called conservatives who redefine human sexuality. We need hard litmus tests, even more than we have for president and Senate.
Just consider the difference between the power of what was considered the weakest branch of government and the power of the political branches. A senator is just one of 100 people. To change policy in the country, you need a majority (supermajority in the Senate) in both houses and the president's signature. If you oppose the law, you can always work to win future elections and change the law with a new vote from new members. The same applies to the president, whose subsequent policies can be changed by his successor. Then, of course, we are told that the judiciary itself can easily change the policies enacted by the political branches.
15 questions that will confirm whether a SCOTUS 
nominee is an originalist
Contrast that to the Supreme Court, where we have nine life-tenured lawyers who can literally change the laws of God, or so we are told, and their decision is immutable. Regardless of the law, Constitution, rules of standing for a judicial case, past and recent Supreme Court precedent, political fallout, or national security consequences, justices can declare an opinion and have that policy unquestionably become "the law of the land." According to the erroneous practice of judicial supremacism, the only way to change that back is to embark on the nearly impossible task of amending the Constitution. And unlike when the shoe is on the other foot, we are told that the other branches cannot check that decision in any way.
With that background in mind, this is why it's time that we finally establish litmus tests for GOP SCOTUS nominees. If Democrats want to end the policy of judicial supremacism and make the Supreme Court boring again, then the nominee's positions matter less. But if they continue to treat SCOTUS like a super-legislature and get 100% assurance from their nominees where they stand on life, social issues, immigration, election law, and just about everything that can affect our society and politics, you better believe we will do the same.
Read the rest from Daniel Horowitz HERE.

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