2002-2004: Court Watch Fights Fire With Fire, I
America is engulfed in the flames of a Culture War. This Culture War is not basically over political parties or personalities, but over philosophies; and our side is faring poorly in the battle. As Phyllis Schlafly has said, "If we canít make them see the light, we must make them feel the heat." This is true of both the powerful and the public, and Court Watch is already "turning up the heat," fighting fire with fire in this War. In order to fight more effectively, we must understand, and then share with both the public and the powerful, our Message, our Mission, and our Methods.
Americaís Culture War is characterized by four qualities:
1. In this War, federal judicial nominations and other judicial policies (i.e., that which is done by the courts and to the courts, especially in constitutional law) are at the white-hot CENTER. A cursory view of judicial nomination statistics verifies this fact. Both Democrats and Republicans, especially the "RINOs" ("Republicans in Name Only"), bear responsibility for the dismal condition of current federal judicial policy in general and the judicial nomination impasse in particular.
- Clinton judges now occupy 47% of the bench; adding to these the Carter judges, Democrat appointees hold almost 53% of federal judgeships;
- During Clintonís presidency, the Senate (controlled by the GOP from 1995 through 2000) ratified 373 of his nominees and rejected only one;
- During the 106th Congress (1999-2000), only 3 GOP Senators (Enzi of WY, Helms of NC, and Smith of NH) voted against Clintonís nominees more than 50% of the time; Democrats voted for Clinton judges 100% of the time;
- During the 105th Congress (1997-1998), every GOP Senator voted 90% or more of the time for Clintonís nominees;
- The Democrat-controlled Senate has hardly reciprocated with such generosity toward President Bush's nominees. As of April 19, 2002, the dismal Democrat stonewalling continues. According to the Judicial Selection Monitoring Project:
- 97 nominees have now been named by Pres. Bush; 45 (46%) have been confirmed;
- Of these 97, 29 nominees were appointed to the under-manned Courts of Appeals, but only 8 (27%) have been confirmed;
- The remaining 68 nominees were appointed to district courts, of whom 37 (54%) have confirmed;
- Of the 97 vacancies, 40 have been declared judicial emergencies because of their caseloads and backlogs.
Statistics such as these reveal the true nature of the nominations strugglethat it is about much more than partisan wrangling. Democrats are united in their passion to capture the judiciary with activist/liberal judges, while the GOP is having its own internal Culture Warbetween true Reagan conservatives and the more liberal/activist RINOs. This inner schism is virtually paralyzing the GOPís ability to fight for constitutionalist nominees to the federal courts.
2. This Culture War is CONSUMING. All areas of American life are involved, and the federal courts have spread the flames throughout our culture. They have taken the position of "High Priests of the Constitution" (according to law professor and commentator Arthur Miller),"High Priests" who "keep it [i.e., the Constitution] current with each generation of America . . . ." In order to accomplish this supreme "priestly" function, federal judges have identified, defined, and prioritized the most fundamentally important values of our culture"personhood," "religious belief," "'acceptable' religious belief," "morality," "truth," and "human nature." In order to accomplish such Herculean tasks, the courts have also performed a feat unique in an alleged democracydefining their own power so that they seem to become impregnable in their activism/liberalism.
Under these circumstances, the claim that restraintist/conservative position is inimical to judicial independence is sophistry. Many federal judges have already lost their independence to the forces of power politics and their own personal views, which are strongly activist/liberal.
3. This Culture War is CLIMACTIC. America will never be the same again because the Culture War pits two irreconcilable world views against each other. These two world views are the Judeo-Christian and the Humanistic. On the federal judicial policy front, the two world views include diametrically opposed constitutional theories known as "constitutionalists" (representing the Judeo-Christian position) and "reconstructionists" (representing Humanism):
- Constitutionalists respect the Constitution; Reconstructionists reject the Constitution;
- Constitutionalists advocate restraint by judges; Reconstructionists advocate rule by judges;
- Constitutionalists seek to revitalize America on a foundation of conservative values; Reconstructionists seek to revolutionize America on a foundation of liberal values.
4. This Culture War is a CITIZEN battle: We Eagles and all other Americans are engulfed in the flames of this deadly struggle, and the only decision left to us is whether to fight back and, if so, how. We do still have the power to fight fire with fire and reclaim our Constitution and our courts. To do so requires that we build back-fires sufficient to quench the Reconstructionists flames which have already ravaged so much of the federal judiciary and the U. S. Constitution.
We must light fires under both the public and the politicians, especially the Congress, to whom the Constitution grants broad powers over the judiciary. Judicial policy/politics must be raised to the highest level of visibility, especially in these election times, because it is such a white-hot issue in our Culture War.
Understanding our message is foundational to our mission and our methods. These two weapons will be discussed in "Court Watch Fights Fire with Fire, II,"!