Bush’s past promises on Supreme Court nominees

Now that our president is openly talking about nominating to the Supreme Court his friend Alberto Gonzales, whom no one but no one considers to be a Scalia-like opponent of the “living Constitution,” it’s worth remembering what Mr. Bush has said about this subject in the past. This is from an Alan Keyes action alert:

During the 2000 presidential campaign, Gov. George W. Bush repeated a number of times that, if elected and if a Supreme Court slot opened up, he would nominate a judge that held the same judicial philosophy as Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia.

On “Meet the Press” in 1999, the future President Bush said that the justices he most admired were Scalia and Thomas. Bush referred to Scalia during one of the nationally-televised debates as his favorite Supreme Court judge, and the kind he would nominate during his presidential tenure.

During a campaign speech, candidate Bush was very clear on the type of judge he would nominate if given the chance: “I’m going to name strict constructionists.” Speaking with reporters after the speech, Bush defined a strict constructionist as a judge who “doesn’t use the opportunity of the Constitution to pass legislation or legislate from the bench.”

“That’s going to be a big difference between my opponent and me,” he said in a debate against Gore. “I don’t believe in liberal, activist judges.”

Once elected, President Bush didn’t get a chance to fulfill his campaign promise during his first term. But in his second nomination acceptance speech at the Republican national convention, he clearly stated, “I will continue to appoint federal judges who know the difference between personal opinion and the strict interpretation of the law.”

While no one knows what will happen, one thing is clearly established by the above quotes. Whether or not Bush actually nominates Gonzales to the Court, by letting it be known that he feels free to do so, Bush has already made a lie out of his repeated pledge to choose a judge who believes in interpreting the Constitution rather than in re-writing it according to his own preferences.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 06, 2005 04:47 PM | Send

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