As a federal appeals judge, Barron will do whatever it takes to implement progressive agenda
WASHINGTON, D.C. – What have the Democrats in the U.S. Senate thrust upon us?
Yesterday the Senate voted 53-45 – along party lines – to confirm the nomination of Harvard professor David Barron to a seat on the 1st District U.S. Court of Appeals.
Prior to the vote, most of the debate about Barron centered on the memos he co-authored for the White House in support of using drones to kill Americans overseas.
But there’s a lot more about Barron that should have made senators from both parties wary of his confirmation. This is a man who embodies the current progressive philosophy that the ends justify the means when it comes to implementation of leftist policies.
Of course conservatives believe that officials elected by and accountable to the people – Congress and the president – should make laws, and the courts exist to interpret the constitutional correctness of those laws.
Judges are supposed to be the referees, not the players.
In recent decades many liberal judges have been guilty of crossing that line and creating new laws through the decisions they render from the bench.
More recently progressives have gone even further, expressing a willingness to toss out the traditional lawmaking process altogether, if it means creating laws they approve of.
In other words, they believe they are so absolutely correct, and conservatives so hopelessly wrong, that it’s all right – even necessary – to ignore the U.S. Constitution.
That seems to be Barron’s philosophy.
U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) revealed a lot of this in a prepared statement released before the vote.
“Professor Barron’s record is even outside the mainstream of the typically left-wing legal thought that we see in so many of our law schools,” Grassley wrote. “While that judicial philosophy may be appropriate for the ivory towers of academia, it has no place on a federal appellate court.”
For instance, Barron has written that courts are a “significant wielder of power for progressive potential.” He also wrote that court decisions guided by existing law and legal precedent is “awfully cramped and technical.”
And then there’s this – “Federalism is what we progressives make of it. (The late Chief Justice William) Rehnquist and his conservative colleagues have been making the most of it for more than a decade. It’s time for progressives to do the same.”
Barron’s positions sound bold, and might lead one to believe that, even if he’s wrong about the proper role of the courts, at least he has the courage to fight for his convictions.
But maybe not.
As Grassley points out, Barron has written extensively about the need to use deception, if necessary, to implement the progressive agenda.
“He has written that candor and clarity have the potential to ‘obstruct progressive decision-making’ and that ‘candor, clarity and activism cannot co-exist.’ His solution? ‘Candor and clarity seem a preferable choice for sacrifice.’”
On the same note, Barron wrote that “principled frankness has its place, but it need not always lie between the covers of the United States Reports (the reported opinions of the Supreme Court).”
Simply put, it’s all right to fool the American people when implementing policies they may not approve of. Progressives know what’s best for Americans, and there’s no time to consider the objections of the ignorant masses.
“So, when you consider this statement together with his view that candor and clarity have the potential to obstruct progressive decision-making, it becomes clear he believes that liberal judges should hide their true intent,” Grassley wrote.
“Comments like these make it clear to me that this nominee has a ‘whatever-it-takes’ judicial philosophy. He will aggressively do whatever it takes to reach his desired progressive policy outcomes.
“Are any of my colleagues ready to vote for a judicial nominee who has hinted that principled judicial interpretation might occasionally need to take a back seat to political considerations?”
The answer, sadly, is yes.