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ICYMI: Supporting judges who support the Constitution, not policy outcomes

Oct 12, 2020 by AFP

Americans for Prosperity Vice President of Legal and Judicial Strategy Casey Mattox | The Hill

As the hearing to consider the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett gets underway, the American public will hear some senators insist that she should be rejected because of her position on certain public policy issues. Others will say that she should be confirmed because of policy stands on the same issues. Both sides are wrong.

Courts are not a tool to drive a policy or political agenda. Judges are not legislators. A judge who decides cases based on those criteria is antithetical to an independent judiciary. The appropriate role of the courts is simple but significant: follow the Constitution, interpret the law as written, and protect our civil liberties. This is why it’s crucial to confirm qualified, independent-minded judges whose loyalties are to the Constitution and nothing more.

Supreme Court nominations ignite partisan passions. But those passions arise precisely because the courts, and the federal government more generally, are too often not operating according to the constitutional design. That a lone Supreme Court vacancy on what the founders thought was “the least dangerous branch” of government seems so pivotal demonstrates just how outsized the role of the courts has become.

While others may support judicial nominations to try to guarantee a particular policy outcome, Americans for Prosperity take a different approach. We speak out not on the basis on any particular policy, but to elevate the voices of millions of Americans who count on our constitutional order, the rule of law, and the civil liberties outlined in the Bill of Rights.

The most important question facing the Supreme Court is not any specific policy issue, but whether it follows the Constitution.

There should be no political or outcome-driven litmus test for judges. That’s why we back judicial nominees who reject the idea that courts should rewrite legislation and who have a record of holding the other branches accountable — not to favored policy outcomes but to the law and the Constitution as written. Amy Coney Barrett is such a nominee.

Click here to read the full op-ed.