Circuit Courts awash with radical leftwing ideologues
The recent report that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a heart stent implanted to clear a blocked artery during the court’s current session is more than just an item of passing interest. The 9-member court hears its next round of oral arguments on Monday.
The 81-year-old Ginsburg, a radical liberal (video) who has suffered multiple and serious health problems, is emblematic of the aging High Court bench. Ginsburg has yet to top the longevity of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., who was on the court from 1902 to 1932 and was 90 when he finally retired, but she’s within spitting distance of the record.
Her age and ill-health point to a serious situation as Barack Obama still has two years to stack the Supreme Court. He has been resolutely at work doing so throughout his tenure with the 13 federal circuit courts, which handle upward of 60,000 cases a year —- compared to the Supreme Court’s fewer than 100 cases. He has diligently created Democrat majorities on the courts that function as mini-supreme courts since they establish precedent on previously unaddressed issues in their circuits, and have the last word in nearly all of the cases that come before them. Not only has Obama appointed leftist ideologues, but young lawyers who will serve for many years. Currently, he has seven circuit vacancies to fill.
Now with Republicans in control of the Senate for the first time since Barack Obama took office, he should find it harder to appoint left-wing lawyers to judgeships. Since he took office in 2009, the number of circuit courts with Democrat majorities has increased from one to nine. Whether he compromises on some of his nominees, including any to the Supreme Court, may depend on the willingness of the new Republican majority to engage the president on judicial philosophy.
Terry Eastland, an executive editor at The Weekly Standard has written a fact-filled two-page review of the subject titled, Obama’s Makeover of the Judiciary. This is an important article that should not be missed. Eastland addresses the issue of the all-important willingness of the new GOP majority Senate to slow the march of liberal judges onto the courts.