Senator Sessions on the Pace of Judicial Confirmations

by Ed Whelan

In a strong statement on the Senate floor today, Senator Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee comprehensively rebutted claims that Senate Republicans have engaged in unprecedented obstruction of judicial nominees.  As Sessions summed it up, “the reality is, Democrats’ systematic obstruction of judicial nominees during the Bush Administration was unprecedented then and it is unmatched now.”  Sessions’s case is too extensive to summarize, so I encourage interested readers to read his full statement.

Sessions also nicely placed the battle over judges in the broader context of the battle over judicial philosophy:

Democrats do not want judges who will act as a neutral umpire, calling balls and strikes and applying the law to the facts. No, they want judges who will make policy and rule based on their personal policy preferences and political beliefs and who will advance desired outcomes. Amazingly, during the Kagan hearings, Democrat Senators rolled their eyes and rejected Chief Justice Roberts metaphor of the judge as a “neutral umpire.” To them, that’s weakness. To them, neutrality, impartiality, is weakness.

As activist judges continue to override the will of the people, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the Democrats hold federal judiciary as the great engine of the left, picking and choosing which constitutional rights they will protect and which they will cast aside—the only consistent principle of which seems to be to advance the agenda of the left wing of the Democrat party.

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