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It’s About Substance

It’s About Substance
By: Mario Diaz, Esq. - 12/23/2010

The liberal cry for more judges has reached an all-time high. Their media cohorts have been banging the drums with the numbers game and the judicial emergency cry in perfect sync. They have become masters of smokescreens and shadows while ignoring the essence.

The nomination of judges is about substance.

If children are starving and you give them poisoned apples, have you really helped them? Hardly! Oh sure, you can say they have more than they had before, but they can’t eat it. It would kill them.

In the same way, assuming you can successfully argue that the country is “starving” for judges (others might argue that what we need are fewer lawsuits, not more judges), President Obama seems to think that by nominating extreme liberal political operatives like Goodwin Liu he is somehow meeting that need. But like the poisoned apples, such nominees would pervert justice, not promote it. And we must be willing to go to great lengths to oppose them.

Aside from the fact that Liu has no judicial experience and almost no legal experience, his view of the role of a judge and the Constitution cannot be more warped. He has made clear he sees the Constitution as a living, breathing document that changes with the times and that judges get to decide what those changes are.

In a 2008 Stanford Law Review article, he argued that judges should use “socially situated modes of reasoning that appeal … to the culturally and historically contingent meanings of particular social goods in our own society” and that they should “determine, at the moment of decision, whether our collective values on a given issue have converged to a degree that they can be persuasively crystallized and credibly absorbed into legal doctrine.” He was apparently arguing for a new constitutional right to welfare.

Liu is such a political operative that he actually testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee against the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, attacking him viciously. He was also an outspoken opponent of Chief Justice Roberts’ nomination. They were, of course, too far to the right for him. Can you imagine, they actually said they will take the Constitution only for what it says?

Conservatives must do everything in their power to oppose nominees like Liu; he should never be a judge. In fact, he should have never been nominated. Any reasonable person can see that he does not meet the constitutional requirements of an impartial jurist.

Just to highlight how crystal clear this is, one of the best lines on his confirmation came from none other than Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), who actually voted for Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. He was quoted saying that Liu should “take those views and run for office.”

And that’s the point. Our Constitution gives us very specific roles for different positions in our form of government, and judges must be impartial adjudicators who show respect and fidelity to the text of the Constitution. Everything Liu is not.

And he is not alone. President Obama has been consistent in nominating radicals (see David Hamilton, Louis Butler, Edward Chen, and Robert Chatigny).

So the liberal elite and their media can keep playing their sad tune about judges. It doesn’t really matter how hungry you are if a person keeps giving you poisoned apples. In fact, can you even trust when they offer one that looks okay?

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