Trump Takes the Road Less Gaveled
Neil Gorsuch may have been Trump’s biggest contribution to the courts, but he’s far from the only one! The new Supreme Court Justice was just the opening act to what the president calls “monthly waves” of solid lower court nominees.
Neil Gorsuch may have been Trump’s biggest contribution to the courts, but he’s far from the only one! The new Supreme Court Justice was just the opening act to what the president calls “monthly waves” of solid lower court nominees. With more than 120 openings on the bench, President Trump will have plenty of ways to leave his mark on the courts — starting with the 10 stellar names he sent to the Senate yesterday. Like Gorsuch, these are men and women with tremendous respect for their role and the Constitution they’ve been tapped to protect. That might explain the knee-jerk reaction from liberals who are already sounding the alarm bells. “Given the critical importance of the circuit courts,” one far-Left expert warned, “it’s incumbent upon the Senate to treat its duty to provide advice and consent very seriously.”
Not surprisingly, the president drew from his list of potential Supreme Court picks to fill this first batch of nominees — which means they’ve not only been vetting by trusted conservative sources but they’re also staunch originalists who understand the boundaries of the job. Once again, President Trump is a man of his word, keeping his promise “to appoint strong and principled jurists to the federal bench who will enforce the Constitution’s limits on federal power and protect the liberty of all Americans.” For conservatives, it’s an important signal that his commitment didn’t end when Gorsuch’s confirmation did.
Obviously, the administration is all-in when it comes to balancing the courts that Barack Obama tipped with radical, agenda-driven activists. That’s a welcome change from Trump’s predecessor, who resorted to flooding the courts with liberals when he couldn’t accomplish his agenda legislatively. Scan the resumes of the nominees announced yesterday, and you’ll notice they clerked for some familiar names: Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia to name a couple. “There are plenty of things about this president and this administration that are unconventional,” Case Western University Professor Jonathan Adler pointed out, but “thus far, the Trump administration’s judicial nominees have been in line with what you would expect from a Republican president.”
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions understands the urgency of undoing that damage better than anyone. “We’ve got 127 federal judge vacancies that need to be confirmed, and then we’ve got 94 United States attorneys that need to be confirmed. So we’re moving names forward… [W]e need to get them confirmed as fast as possible.” Of those vacancies, almost half (50) are judicial emergencies, meaning that the seats have sat empty for at least a year and a half. And in most cases, these are America’s busiest benches with workloads of 500 filings or so per judge. Help is on the way, if the Senate cooperates.
While most Americans zero in on the Supreme Court, FRC’s Mandi Ancalle underscored the importance of the lower courts, especially moving forward. “With the confirmation of Justice Gorsuch behind us, it’s fantastic to see President Trump turning his attention to Federal District and Circuit Court nominees. While the Supreme Court hears high profile cases, it is these lower courts that have a more direct and frequent impact on Americans’ daily lives, and it is most often judges from these lower federal courts who are eventually nominated to serve on the bench at the High Court.”
President Trump found quality men and women for the job — now help senators do theirs! Contact both of your leaders and urge them to move quickly to confirm the White House’s picks.
(Originally published here.)
Gang Green: Left Teams Up to Take Down Army Pick
What does evolution theory have to do with the Army? A lot, if you want to be the branch’s secretary. That’s just one of the fights the Left picked over Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Army. Dr. Mark Green’s beliefs on everything from creation to sexuality became the subject of a nasty campaign to discredit the respected flight surgeon — a campaign, unfortunately, that ended Friday when Green withdrew his name from consideration.
“Due to false and misleading attacks against me, this nomination has become a distraction,” Green said. “Tragically, my life of public service and my Christian beliefs have been mischaracterized and attacked by a few on the other side of the aisle for political gain.”
LGBT activists, in particular, were upset that Green supported privacy laws like North Carolina’s and the view of marriage that Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and even Barack Obama held at one point. To them, that was an unacceptable change from former Army Secretary Eric Fanning — who not only identified as gay but openly used his power to advance that agenda in the military. (How convenient that Fanning wasn’t put under the same scrutiny when he was nominated!) Green, on the other hand, was maligned, misquoted, and mistreated by liberals desperate to keep a pro-family, pro-gun, pro-freedom, pro-marriage leader from a position of military authority.
But if being a conservative disqualifies Green from public service, then Washington is going to be a pretty empty place. A group of 11 congressmen, led by Marine vet Duncan Hunter (R-CA), tried to defend Green, writing in a letter to Senate leadership that “[a]ny attempt to politicize personal statements or views that have been expressed by Mark at any point throughout his career must not be allowed to supersede his qualifications or be conflated to create needless uncertainty with his nomination.” But it was too late. The Left’s crusade against the West Point grad, Tennessee state legislator, and longtime conservative had already taken its toll.
“I think there is a movement to target people of faith who are being nominated,” Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally told the Washington Examiner. “They want their own, either agnostics or people who are non-Christians. ‘They’ being the Democratic Party.” FRC’s own Army vet, Lt. General Jerry Boykin (Ret.), knows what it’s like to be in the cross-hairs because of your Christian views. Sadly, he said, liberals have become “so powerful, and so vicious, that it’s getting hard to find good people like Mark Green to run for office or engage in public policy because of the lies and hateful attacks they will have to endure.” And the military in particular needs strong leaders with the stomach to stand up for what’s right.
Let’s face it: Eight years of social experimentation won’t self-correct. President Trump needs someone at the helm with the courage to undo the devastation of the Obama years. If not Mark Green, then someone like Lt. Col. Allen West or former Congressman Randy Forbes, both respected conservatives who have proven they have the military’s best interest at heart. After two terms of political correctness, our soldiers deserve an Army secretary who will do whatever it takes to boost morale, defend freedom, and restore readiness. Anything less not only puts the military at risk, but America too.
(Originally published here.)
Tennessee Volunteers to Ignore Kids’ Freedom
Looking for ways to grow your kids’ faith? Well, I would say join the club — but at schools like Altruria Elementary School, that’s no longer allowed. The Tennessee district shut down the grade school’s Bible club when atheists came knocking. The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) picked a fight with the small-town tradition, insisting that the club is “unconstitutional because public schools may not provide religious instruction.”
“Schoolchildren already feel significant pressure to conform from their peers. They must not be subjected to similar pressure from their school and teachers, especially on religious questions,” the extremists wrote in a legal threat to administrators.
But, as Fox News’s Todd Starnes points out, nothing about the club was mandatory. As a matter of fact, the group met before school to talk about topics like “love, joy, patience, and kindness” — lessons I think we all agree children (and these atheists) need more of! When the district abruptly stopped the club, officials said it was because the group wasn’t sponsored by an outside group. Worried about backlash, they promised they were working “to ensure proper steps are taken to allow the club in the 2017-18 school year.”
In the meantime, the Foundation is keeping busy — and not just with the small-town lawsuits it’s known for. Late Friday, the atheists announced that they were taking the Trump administration to court over its executive order protecting religious liberty (a portion of which, ironically, would help protect schools like the one they just attacked). The Foundation takes particular offense to the portion of the order that tries to rein in the IRS’s out-of-control enforcement of the Johnson Amendment. Like most liberals, it wants to stop Bible-believing pastors to preach on the moral issues of the day — even though the Constitution gives them the freedom to do exactly that. And as usual, it resorts to outright lies to make its case. “As a result of President Trump’s [EO], churches and religious organizations will be able to blatantly and deliberately flaunt the electioneering restrictions … including during the upcoming 2018 elections, unlike secular nonprofits, including FFRF,” it claims.
White House officials have already made it quite clear: “Everything that is legal stays legal. Everything that is illegal [like direct political lobbying] stays illegal.” Obviously, President Trump agrees with the majority of Americans that “politicians and unelected bureaucrats shouldn’t have the power to shut up their critics just because they are church leaders or charities.”
For more on the debate, check out FRC’s short video on the executive order and what it means for religious liberty in America.
(Originally published here.)
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC. Reprinted by permission.
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