If you’re one of the disgruntled Republicans thinking of boycotting the polls, don’t. Today, Michael Medved offers eight reasons why you should support your local Republican candidates. Reason number one, standing alone, is good enough for me:
1. Judges. On April 20th of next year, Justice John Paul Stevens (arguably the most liberal member of the current Supreme Court, will celebrate his 87thirthday. The actuarial tables suggest that the chances are excellent that he will vacate his high office some time before President Bush leaves the White House – at a time when Justice Stevens is just two months shy of his 89th birthday! No decision will impact the long-term future of this Republic more substantially than the choice of a successor to this veteran jurist. If the Democrats have taken over the Senate, with Pat Leahy of Vermont as the new chair of the Judiciary Committee, the chances of winning confirmation for any justice in the Alito-Roberts mold are nil. Many conservatives felt (rightly) troubled by the aborted nomination of Harriet Miers; but even this sort of “stealth nominee” would find it difficult to escape a Democratic Senate.
Whatever our complaints about other aspects of the Bush record, his judicial nominations have been incontestably superb—vastly better than his father’s, than Nixon’s, and even than Reagan’s (remember Sandra Day O’Connor? Anthony Kennedy?). With one more nomination, the high court would enjoy a clear strict constructionist majority (Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito, and……). But sulking conservatives want to give up a once-in-a-lifetime chance to overrule Roe v. Wade and other examples of catastrophic judicial overreach because you’re angry about Mark Foley’s e-mails? And what about all the dozens of appellate and federal district court nominations that will come up in the next two years? These appointments will help to shape the federal judiciary for a generation, with incalculable impact long after any current complaints have been forgotten.
Long before I abandoned the Democratic party, I loathed liberal judges. I’m not even talking about loathing them at the national level — I’m talking about the trial court level. The liberal judges (and in the Bay Area that means the majority of judges) never bother with the law; they just follow their hearts. They then write appalling, unintelligible, illogical decisions to justify their naval-gazing positions. Those who have known me for my twenty year legal career know that I’ve always said I’d rather lose fairly, than win unfairly. The law is meant to provide stability so that people can plan their conduct. With liberal judges, all you can do is cross your fingers, hold your nose and, at the end of the day, forum shop.
UPDATE: Clearly, the New Jersey Supreme Court wants to bring Republicans to the polls. How else does one explain the court’s decision, two weeks before the elections, to decide that some type of gay union is constitutionally protected in New Jersey. If this doesn’t get the base moving, nothing will.
By the way, Ed Whelen, who writes about law in a National Review blog, offers his quick take on the court’s activist ruling.