June 28, 2022

Impeach Trump’s Justices for Perjury?

Democrats falsely claim they lied about Roe, but Dems are the ones distorting justice.

No judge worth his or her salt should prejudge a case — especially not for the benefit of the choreographed circus known as Senate confirmation hearings. Senators are political animals who calculate that they have votes and campaign cash to gain from making a big scene over how a jurist will rule on certain hot-button cases. But no judge should declare his or her position until the arguments in a case have been heard.

Naturally, ever since the leak of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, wild accusations have been made over what Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, and all the way back to Samuel Alito said or didn’t say during their confirmation process.

“Several conservative Justices, who are in no way accountable to the people, have lied to the Senate, ripped up the Constitution, and defiled precedent and the Court’s reputation,” thundered Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, “all at the expense of women who could soon be stripped of bodily autonomy and constitutional rights.”

Sometimes-Republican Susan Collins complained, “This decision is inconsistent with what Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh said in their testimony and their meetings with me, where they both were insistent on the importance of supporting long-standing precedents that the country has relied upon.”

She and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, by the way, already submitted a bill to codify Roe earlier this year. With Republicans like these…

The truth is that Collins is more likely the one lying. “In fact,” Rich Lowry notes, “she praised Neil Gorsuch during his 2017 confirmation for saying he would have left the room if someone asked him for a commitment to overturn Roe.”

Joe Manchin of West Virginia (Donald Trump by 39 points) was likewise “deeply disappointed” in the justices he voted to confirm. “I trusted Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh when they testified under oath that they also believed Roe v. Wade was settled legal precedent and I am alarmed they chose to reject the stability the ruling has provided for two generations of Americans.”

It strikes us that Southern Democrats probably said the same thing about precedent and stability after Dred Scott and Plessy were overturned.

These senators are not alone, of course. “How about those justices coming before the senators and saying that they respected stare decisis, the precedent of the court?” asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “That they respected the right of privacy in the Constitution of the United States. Did you hear that? Were they not telling the truth then?”

Yes, they were, but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez thinks “they lied.” She insists, “There must be consequences for such a deeply destabilizing action and hostile takeover of our democratic institutions.” What are those consequences? “Lying under oath is an impeachable offense.”

Who are you going to believe? The justices, or the Democrats trying to raise campaign cash to stave off that shellacking this November?

As our Lewis Morris noted earlier this month, what Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett actually said was nothing but the truth, with no promises one way or another. Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley likewise defends their statements during confirmation.

“For a judge to start tipping his or her hand about whether they like or dislike this or that precedent would send the wrong signal,” said Gorsuch.

Roe v. Wade, said Kavanaugh, is “settled as a precedent of the Supreme Court, entitled the respect under principles of stare decisis” and one that “has been reaffirmed many times over the past 45 years.”

Barrett took a different tack, arguing, “I’m answering a lot of questions about Roe, which I think indicates that Roe doesn’t fall in that category” of so-called “super-precedents.”

Back in 2005, Alito similarly simply restated facts about Roe’s age and “important precedent” and the “value” of stare decisis.

What Democrats want is predetermined political outcomes in the courts — especially when their preferred policies are defeated legislatively. They care nothing for Rule of Law because it almost always stands in the way of their agenda. Here it’s killing babies. Elsewhere it’s confiscating firearms or utterly redefining the millennia-old term “marriage” or umpteen other examples.

Maybe instead of politicizing the courts, Democrats should try democracy — by which, of course, we mean republican government.

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