The Judicial Apocalypse That’s Always Just Around the Corner

The ever-prolific Juan Williams just published a piece in The Hill, bemoaning the possibility of another Trump appointment to the Supreme Court and the expected successful confirmation of a constitutionalist nominee, shepherded through by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

“In the age of Trump,” Williams begins, “I remain an optimist.”

I, too, am an optimist. It is true that my optimism is tested every time I read “news” from the freak show that is the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination process—but the current frontrunners (Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and the more distant contenders, like Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg) give reasons for optimism most days, given their unelectability.

Williams then ominously contends, 

It’s easy to get depressed if you get locked into dark thoughts about how a third of the country is not concerned about the chaos, bullying and lies coming from the Trump White House.

And yet, despite all the angst, the economy has performed spectacularly, we are no longer part of the Paris Climate Charade, Iran is being squeezed, more than 140 constitutionalist judges have been confirmed, our military is being rebuilt, and so on. 

The Mother of All Lies came from the Obama White House when Barack Obama swore to the nation “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” This lie was so monstrous, so horrendous, so brazen that Barack Obama deserves impeachment even years after leaving office. But, oddly enough, Juan Williams has never, to my knowledge, called out Obama on his monstrous lies.

“We are not a broken country,” says Williams. Not yet, we’re not. Let us hope that all the freaks, paleo-socialists, Alzheimer’s patients, fake Hispanics, phony Indians, goofballs, weirdos, love gurus, and Bill de Blasios running for president are consigned to the dustbin of history a year from now.

With 86-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg having just been treated for cancer for the fourth time, Williams then mutters:

If a vacancy on the Supreme Court arose next year, and if the door is opened to filling it by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)—despite McConnell having previously blocked Obama nominee Merrick Garland in comparable circumstances—“it will tear this country apart.”

But Williams offers conservatives some more potential good news: “Justice Stephen Breyer, another member of the liberal minority, is at an age—81—where he might consider retirement.”

Juan Williams then touchingly shows concern for “balance”:

Now if Trump puts another hard-right conservative on the court he will demolish any semblance of political balance by creating a 6-3 conservative majority. And a possible Breyer retirement brings into play a dreadful prospect for Democrats—a 7-2 conservative majority.

“Balance” is one of those things leftists dust off every time they are about to be outplayed in the judicial confirmation game. I cannot recall a single Democrat expressing concern about “balance” when Obama was packing the judiciary with “living Constitution” liberals and leftists. I cannot recall any leftist telling Hillary Clinton “for the sake of balance, continuity and fair play, you should nominate a conservative to Scalia’s seat.” No, the Left was gleefully delighted that the Supreme Court would finally swing left—balance and fair play be damned. 

It is a mystery how anyone still falls for the leftist shrieks of “illegitimacy” when it comes to anything the Supreme Court does. 

Every court decision that advances the agenda of the Left, even if it shreds two centuries of jurisprudence, is automatically treated as correctly decided and long overdue. Every decision that is not to the Left’s liking is by definition wrong and calls into question the very foundations of our Republic. 

Whenever a Republican president nominates anyone to the Supreme Court, the Left screeches about the coming apocalypse. We should all be used to it by now—we have seen this movie before, over and over. 

But the worst part of all this (according to Williams) is . . . Mitch McConnell’s “bald hypocrisy”:

McConnell prevented Obama from putting a justice on the high court with nearly a year to go before the next election.

But now, McConnell contends, Trump can put a nominee on the court with a year to go before the next election because the same party, the GOP, controls the Senate and the White House.

This is a remarkable, self-serving double standard. It shows a blatant lack of fair play, certain to ignite bitter political division.

Separate and aside from the fact that this is exactly the principle that McConnell enunciated in 2016, there is, in truth, no high moral precept or constitutional principle involved. Democrats would do the same thing if the roles are reversed. 

Democrats no doubt will do the same thing once the roles are reversed at some point in the future. No Democrat has ever been concerned about “fair play”—at least no Democrat elected to public office—if the choice is between “fair play” and advancing their agenda through judicial fiat. As far as the Left is concerned, fair play is for fools, in those circumstances.

Williams then states the obvious: “McConnell’s goal is to secure his political legacy as the man who cemented a conservative majority on the high court . . . .” If so, then kudos to Cocaine Mitch—at least someone is keeping his eye on the ball. 

But apparently, Williams fails to appreciate the irony of his next prediction: “It does not take a fortune-teller to predict that another conservative on the court will stir up rage.”

It is not a conservative on the court who will stir up rage—it is the leftists, who will do everything they can to stir up rage. When Amy Coney Barrett or Britt Grant is nominated to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Kavanaugh confirmation will seem like a shining example of bipartisan civility, tolerance, and mutual respect. 

It doesn’t even matter when the nomination happens—in 2020, or 2021—the demented fury from the Left will surely go down in the history books. Topping the insanity of the Kavanaugh confirmation seems far-fetched, but I am willing to bet the farm the Left will rise to the occasion.

No sense of irony here, either, from Williams:

In an unprecedented move, five Democratic senators filed an amicus brief last month urging the court to drop its review of a landmark gun control case because of the National Rifle Association’s work to inflame public opinion and bias the court.

It is an article of faith on the Left that Trump is somehow “breaking all the norms” (a shopworn accusation by now), but, peculiarly, even by Williams’ own admission, it is Democratic senators who are making “unprecedented moves.” Nor does Williams see any norm-breaking in Democratic court-packing plans: 

Meanwhile, South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), who is running for president, has proposed increasing the number of Supreme Court justices from 9 to 15.

Packing the Supreme Court doesn’t strike Williams as “breaking the norms”—as long as Democrats are the ones doing it, it’s nothing more than a necessary and proper measure. Williams then tosses in a few polls, to make the whole thing sound very scientific:

A Pew Research survey published in August found that while 75 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents have a favorable view of the Supreme Court, only 49 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents have a favorable view. . . .

A Quinnipiac University poll in late April indicated 81 percent of registered voters nationwide agree that the process for confirming justices is “too political.”

Before climbing on his high horse (and citing Quinnipiac—a notoriously biased pro-Democrat pollster), Williams needs to recall Robert Bork’s confirmation hearings in 1987. Bork was, perhaps, the most highly qualified jurist President Reagan could possibly nominate. His only fault was that he was a conservative. The vicious, slanderous, and ultimately successful campaign by Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden (and the rest of the Senate Democrats) to torpedo Bork’s nomination is a reminder to all of us—if the Left wants to assign blame for the politicization of the confirmation process, they need only to look in the mirror.

One way or another,” Williams sniffs, “a majority of the American people are being denied any voice in selecting the justices to sit on the Supreme Court as a result of McConnell’s unscrupulous tactics. . . . If that dark moment is to come, history will record that it was McConnell—not Trump—who broke apart the country.”

Oh, good grief! 

Nowhere does Williams mention that it was then-Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and the Democrats (who would lose their majority a year later, though they surely could not have imagined they would lose it that quickly) who abolished the judicial filibuster for lower-court judges in 2013. At the time, Democrats were eager to pack the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals with hard leftists. Now that the same tactics are boomeranging on them, they are disingenuously crying crocodile tears about having no voice in judicial appointments.

I have news for Juan Williams and his ilk: the country is doing just fine. The Supreme Court is doing fine. Trump is managing fine, despite everything you’ve been throwing at him. 

Yes, the “progressives” will shriek, screech, and throw temper tantrums when Trump nominates the next justice of the Supreme Court. Yes, the leftist talking heads on TV will stutter, and drool, and babble something about “lack of legitimacy,” “balance,” “fair play,” and all their other usual blah-de-blahs. Yes, the Senate will confirm Trump’s next nominee. And no, Juan, there is not a damn thing you can do about it.

I actually have an even better dream than anything Williams could offer me.

End of 2019: RBG decides to retire for health reasons, and because she wants to spend more time with her grandchildren. 

Early 2020: Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed, and serves for the next 40 years, until the year 2060.

Late 2020: Trump is reelected, Justice Breyer decides he can’t take it anymore and announces his retirement. 

Early 2021: Britt Grant (who will be 43 by then) is confirmed, and serves for the next 45 years, until the year 2066.

2024: Clarence Thomas retires, and is replaced by a younger version of Justice Thomas, just before Trump leaves office. Thomas’s replacement serves for the next 40 years, until 2064.

The Supreme Court stays out of reach of the socialists, progressives, democratic socialists, national socialists, hard leftists, soft leftists, and various other assorted leftist fruitcakes, for the remainder of my lifetime.

Ah, what a dream!

About George S. Bardmesser

George S. Bardmesser is an attorney in private practice in the Washington, DC area. He is a contributor to The Federalist and American Greatness, and is sometimes heard on the "Inside Track" radio show on KVOI in Tucson, Arizona and sometimes seen discussing politics (in Russian) on New York’s American-Russian TV channel RTVi.

Photo: Andrew Harnik- Pool/Getty Images

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