McCain’s Promise On Judges And The Dems Make Us Much Less Safe

Here is something John McCain said during his speach at CPAC:

I intend to nominate judges who have proven themselves worthy of our trust that they take as their sole responsibility the enforcement of laws made by the people’s elected representatives, judges of the character and quality of Justices Roberts and Alito, judges who can be relied upon to respect the values of the people whose rights, laws and property they are sworn to defend.

Now, if you’ve been keeping score of the final three candidates, you have the two Dems promising to nominate justices who will legislate from the bench and one who nominate justices like John Roberts and Sam Alito. Yet there is still that rage and anger against John McCain for some reason. And what is worse is that if you try to confront these angry people by asking, “Can you explain how justices appointed by Hillary or Obama would be better?” they usually fly off onto some irrelevent tangent about McCain’s all but guaranteed nomination instead of actually answering the question.

Writing for the PajamasMedia, Professor Stephen Bainbridge has the following to say about this:

To be sure, Presidents all too often break campaign promises. Remember George Bush 41’s “read my lips” pledge on taxes?

In the new media environment, however, it’s getting easier to hold a President’s feet to the fire. Remember George Bush 43’s aborted nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court?

Those of us who waged war against Miers succeeded in part because in the 2000 campaign Bush had explicitly promised to nominate justices in the mold of Scalia and Thomas. We demanded that Bush keep that promise and, as it became clear that Miers was made from a different mold, we kept up a steady drum beat of criticism. In the end, we won. Miers was forced to withdraw and Samuel Alito became the newest member of the Supreme Court.

Yes, I remember that. I don’t doubt that we, the people, especially those of us who are politically active either in the real world or in cyberspace, will have a big say in such appointments, bigger than we would have if Hillary or Obama were sitting in the Oval Office.

Professor Bainbridge goes on:

All of which suggests that threats by conservative pundits like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter to take their ball and go home if McCain is the nominee make no sense (and I say this as someone who has made similar rumblings in the past). The next President likely will nominate 3-4 Supreme Court justices and 200 to 400 lower court judges. Given the astonishing longevity of Supreme Court justices, moreover, the next President’s Supreme Court picks easily could serve for two or more decades.

To consider the full implications of this prospect, consider just one of the names that appears on most short lists of prospective Democratic Supreme Court nominees: Harold Koh, dean of the Yale Law School. (YLS professor Kenji Yoshino reportedly quipped that he was hedged for 2008, because “either the Democrats will lose and Yale will keep Harold, or the Democrats will win and Yale will loan him to the country.”)

What would a Justice Koh’s jurisprudence look like? Jeffrey Rosen notes that Koh “has supported the idea that U.S. courts should expansively apply international legal precedents without the authorization of the president and Congress.” John McGinnis likewise observes that: “Harold Koh in fact would like to cabin American exceptionalism through the use of transnational materials to assure that American principles would cohere more with the rest of the world.” The increasing use of such precedents by the left wing of the Supreme Court, of course, has been a major irritant to conservatives.

Andrew McCarthy and Doug Kmiec have both raised concerns that a Justice Koh would handcuff the police and intelligence community by judicial fiat. A Law Blog reader quipped that, “other than that he’d be a sure vote for declaring Gitmo detainees have a constitutional right to Social Security benefits, I do not see the appeal.”

So, there you have your choice. Justices like Harold Koh from the Democrats, or a promise of more like Sam Alito and John Roberts from the GOP nominee.

I choose the hopefulness of John McCain’s promise.

You can access the complete article on-line here:

McCain Makes A Promise About Judges
Professor Stephen Bainbridge
PajamasMedia.com
February 10, 2008


And have you heard that the FISA Law has been allowed to die? That means that we have lost one of our mosr effective tools against the terrorists.

Who allowed it to die? The Dems.

House Minority Leader John Boehner had this to say about it:

On Thursday, House Democratic leaders left Washington for a 12-day break after failing to pass critical legislation designed to ensure that our intelligence officials are able to monitor foreign communications of suspected terrorists overseas, such as Osama Bin Laden and other key al-Qaeda leaders, while also adding critical liability protections for third parties who helped us defend our country. This measure had received strong bipartisan support in the Senate, and was on the verge of passing by a wide bipartisan margin in the House until Democratic leaders blocked it from coming to the floor for a vote.

Because of the Democrats’ inaction, the Protect America Act expired last night at midnight, forcing our intelligence officials to revert to the same terror surveillance laws that failed to protect America from the al-Qaeda terrorist attack on 9/11. Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups are still plotting against the United States and our allies, but now our intelligence officials don’t have all the tools they need to protect us. These laws didn’t safeguard America in 2001, so why would House Democrat leaders place our nation at risk by putting them back into effect now?

Some members of the House Majority believe there is no sense of urgency to address this crisis. But the New York Post recently reported a heartbreaking story about U.S. forces in Iraq having to wait 10 hours last May before they could begin searching for three American soldiers taken hostage by al Qaeda because lawyers here in the United States were hammering out the proper documents to get emergency permission for wiretaps. One of our soldiers was found dead, two others remain missing.

This lapse in judgement the Dems have experienced is deep and its effects will be far reaching. More:

The liability protections included in the bipartisan Senate bill are intended to ensure that patriotic third parties are not subject to frivolous lawsuits when they cooperate with our intelligence officials to help track terrorists. But already some trial lawyers are seeking millions of dollars, and now some third parties who have cooperated to help defend our country have indicated they can no longer do so voluntarily. This is wrong and we must fix it.

Much has been said about the U.S. Senate being the world’s most deliberative body, but in this case our colleagues proved that they can work quickly to pass good legislation that will keep America safe.

The consequences of inaction in the House and the failure to send a bill to the President are real. U.S. intelligence officials will not be able to begin new terrorist surveillance without needless and dangerous delays. If a previously unknown group were to attack or kidnap American soldiers tomorrow, U.S. forces would have to wait – again – for the lawyers to get permission before a search could begin. The families of the three soldiers abducted in May by al Qaeda can attest to how devastating waiting can be.

Refusing to give our intelligence officials all the tools they need to keep America safe is unacceptable. Refusing to extend protection from frivolous lawsuits to third parties that cooperate with the government to protect American lives and then leaving town for 12 days is also unacceptable.

The question now for House Democratic leaders is, how much longer are they prepared to protect their trial lawyer allies at the expense of our national security?

Which is one of the many reasons why I voted Republican in my local Congressional races.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

Democrats’ Inaction On FISA Harms America’s National Security
Rep. John Boehner
TownHall.com
February 17, 2008

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