When advocating the ratification of the Constitution, Alexander Hamilton famously described the judiciary as “the least dangerous branch.” Hamilton would surely reconsider if he were to meet David Barron, President Obama’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. In contrast to the Constitution of enumerated and separated powers that Hamilton and his fellow Framers devised, Barron is committed to a “dynamic” constitution that reflects his political leanings. This interpretation encourages judges to take upon themselves the legislative power delegated entirely to Congress, and to make use of it on behalf of progressive priorities. Thus, Barron celebrates court rulings that affirmed the “rights” to abortion and gay marriage, even when legislators passed laws that said otherwise.
Barron is no friend to rights actually protected by the Constitution, however. He lauded the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. New London, which put property rights at stake. His idea of federalism encourages state and local governments to expand their own power, rather than protect their rights and those of their citizens from an overbearing federal government. Most notably, his memos for the Obama administration’s Office of Legal Counsel provided a legal basis for targeted killings of American citizens overseas. Several senators, Democrats and Republicans, have called for the memos to be released and are delaying the nomination in the meantime. They are right to do so, but there is enough information already public about David Barron to warrant his rejection by the Senate.
To view Eagle Forum's action alert on Barron, click here.