Nearly all the Republican presidential candidates quickly urged the Senate not to allow a lame-duck president to fill that vacancy. This vacancy hangs in the balance for the upcoming presidential election. Several candidates promised to appoint a justice who will interpret the Constitution as it was written, rather than changing it as liberals want. But by now it should be painfully obvious that picking good judges is not sufficient to stop liberal activism by the courts.
Of course Senate Republicans should block President Obama from filling this Supreme Court vacancy in an election year, and they have 80 years of precedent on their side. But Republicans should go further and block nominations for all the other vacancies in the federal judiciary, too. Obama has already placed more than 300 judges on the federal bench with little or no opposition by Republicans. He has handpicked roughly the same number of federal judges as George W. Bush did in his entire two terms.
Let’s not pretend that merely electing a Republican President will repair the damage caused by liberal judges. President Reagan had three vacancies on the Supreme Court, but placed only one conservative there, Justice Scalia. Two years ago, the five Republican appointees on the Supreme Court had the opportunity to end the power of labor unions to collect compulsory dues from government workers such as teachers. Now their 5-4 majority on this issue is lost for the foreseeable future.
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