By Renee Parsons - March 06, 2023
If there is one committee within the hallowed, marbled halls of the United States Senate, one historic committee that has maintained its devotion to the rule of law, that Committee struggles today for its survival as an exemplar of judicial excellence. That one source of democratic principles and values consistent with a principled legal standard and the US Constitution would be the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Upon ratification of the US Constitution in 1789, Article III established the judicial power of the US vested in one Supreme Court and such “inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.” The Judiciary Act of 1789 signed into law by President George Washington organized the Federal Court system into a three tiered structure with Appellate Circuit Courts and District Courts and one Supreme Court defining each jurisdiction to include lifetime appointments.
As validation, it is useful to note that our most famed and esteemed anti-Federalist Founders Thomas Jefferson and James Madison opposed establishment of a proposed Federal judiciary as potentially leading to tyranny by investing too much power in mere mortal Judges to define what was constitutional or not.
One of Senate’s oldest, most influential and prestigious, the Judiciary Committee was established in 1816 with one of its major tasks to process Presidential judicial nominees through the committee hearing and approval process to final floor approval by a simple one-vote majority. Lifetime compensation for Federal District Courts appointments earn $232,000/year while Appellate Circuit Court Judges, one step away from the Supreme Court, earn $246,000/year with an Associate S.Ct Judge at $285,000 as of 2023.
Once it became clear that Republicans failed to take control of the Senate, the Biden Administration’s assault on the Senate Judiciary Committee achieved a new threshold of frenzy in its attempt to fill the Federal bench with unqualified applicants as they destroy the United States Constitution. While Committee website quote from its Chair Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill): ‘The confirmation of highly qualified judges is one of the great shared successes of President’s Biden and Senate Democrats” is little more than a cruel hoax, the self serving maxim is no longer relevant or accurate in its portrayal of the Committee since the 2022 election. In fact, quite the opposite is true.
Anyone believing that partisan gibberish has not yet experienced the embarrassing spectacle of transmogrification as Democratic zealots rubber stamp every incompetent, mediocre nominee – no matter its gross lack of judicial philosophy or moral guidelines on their way to the most significant judicial appointments in the country. Since 2022 election, the Administration’s quality of nominees has reached a new bottom-of-the-barrel with White House favoring diversity-hire applicants who meet the cultural Marxist test rather than an elevated legal standard of knowledge and experience.
Since the Biden Presidency, 152 Article III applicants have been nominated with 107 approved as of February 23, 2023 thereby achieving almost a 75% approval rating. There are currently twenty two nominees awaiting Senate approval, most of whom were narrowly approved by the Judiciary Committee with some quisling Republican Members voting with the Democrats.
In what should be required viewing for every American citizen, an “Epic Rant” aka Ode to Nominating a Ham Sandwich by Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) brilliantly acknowledges the depth of how thoroughly the Democrats have embraced the destruction and destabilization of a 230 year old Federal judiciary system committed to preservation of our Constitutional Republic:
“…what I cannot understand over the last two years is that every Democratic member of this Committee has voted for every single Biden judicial nominee one hundred percent without failing and I will say on the Senate floor that every Democrat Senator has voted for every Biden nominee. Not a single Democrat in the US Senate has mustered the courage to vote No on a single nominee…when we recently had a Republican President and majority in this body, and there were many of us said, on a particular nominee, that this is not a good nominee; we are not going to support this nominee, the White House withdrew the nomination.”
On February 2, Sen. Lindsay Graham (SC) assumed the role of ‘ranking member’ on Judiciary due to term limit rules set by the Senate Republican Conference. As Graham votes more often with the Democrats in both the Judiciary Committee and on the Senate floor, it may be difficult to understand how the ranking Committee Republican who votes against his own party in favor of the ‘woke’ Marxist-leaning Democrats is able to function as a true representative of the committee which he is supposed to lead.
On February 9th, twenty four Federal District and Circuit Judge nominees, leftover from the 117th Session of Congress, were awaiting approval by the full Judiciary Committee. While the full Committee is split 11 Democrats and 10 Republicans, thirteen applicants were approved on a strict party-line vote 11 – 10 while the remaining nominees were approved with Sen. Lindsay Graham (SC) and other defectors voting with the Democrats.
The nomination of Biden’s Supreme Court nominee, Katanji Brown Jackson, is worth noting as it set the tone for how inferior and defiled candidates are routinely hustled through the Judiciary Committee process.
Approved by the Committee on a 11 – 11 vote in April 2022, it was the first time in modern history when a S.Ct. nominee failed to receive a plurality in the committee; thus requiring a discharge petition to allow her nomination to go to the Senate floor. Once on the Senate floor, Jackson was approved by the full Senate 53 – 47 with three Republicans (Senators Collins (Maine), Murkowski (Alaska) and Romney (Utah) voting with the Democrats. If the Republican trio, which routinely vote as Democrats, had voted with the Republican caucus, Jackson would have received another tie vote 50 – 50 as Vice President Kamala Harris was needed to break the tie in order to approve Jackson’s nomination to the highest Court in the country.
This example of how Republicans undermine their own party and its partisan principles is replete throughout the Committee process while Biden has not yet recommended one Federal judge candidate that has earned a solid recommendation with full Committee support . . .