I was surprised and even stunned that a significant number of people of faith–including some close friends–voted for Barack Obama in 2008 for president of the United States.
It’s understandable that many agnostics and atheists voted for the former Illinois Senator. In the past five or six presidential contests people with a secular worldview, by margins of 70-80%, have voted for the Democratic or more liberal nominee. By the same percentages, people with traditional values or faith in God voted Republican or for the nominee who was more conservative in his positions.
But in 2008, many believers crossed the divide and voted for Barack Obama–despite the clear evidence that he opposed everything they hold dear. In October of that year, I’d written a pre-election piece entitled, “One Hundred Reasons Why I Will Not Vote for Barack Obama.” It seemed pretty straightforward. Obama was anti-Christian on moral issues, anti-freedom on economic issues, pro-Big Government, and weak on national defense.
Another election article analyzed the other side of the ticket–Senator John McCain. Though he was not my first choice for president, he was a war hero, pro-free enterprise, and generally conservative on important issues. However, in that piece I said there was one pre-eminent reason why we should vote for John McCain: He would appoint strict constructionist judges to the US Supreme Court.
Monday was the day that’s Obama’s election came back to haunt those who voted for him–and all of the United States of America. He made his second Supreme Court pick.
Meet Solicitor General Elena Kagan–a liberal attorney with no judicial experience who will likely become the next Supreme Court Justice of the United States. Elena Kagan is fifty. She may serve in that position for the next thirty-to-forty years. If confirmed she would be the youngest judge on the court and cast her influence for decades. She is certainly not constructionist. She’s a legal activist who is anti-military and pro “disadvantaged groups.” That means she believes in the rule of “men” not the rule of “law.”
Elections do have consequences.
Former Attorney General Ed Meese, a former Attorney General under Ronald Reagan released the following statement regarding the nomination of Elena Kagan:
“First and foremost, any nominee to a lifetime appointment to the United States Supreme Court must demonstrate a thorough fidelity to apply the Constitution as it was written, rather than as they would like to re-write it. Given Solicitor General Kagan’s complete lack of judicial experience, and, for that matter, very limited litigation experience, Senators must not be rushed in their deliberative process. Because they have no prior judicial opinions to look to, Senators must conduct a more searching inquiry to determine if Kagan will decide cases based upon what is required by the Constitution as it is actually written, or whether she will rule based upon her own policy preferences.
Though Ms. Kagan has not written extensively on the role of a judge, the little she has written is troubling. In a law review article, she expressed agreement with the idea that the Court primarily exists to look out for the “despised and disadvantaged.” The problem with this view—which sounds remarkably similar to President Obama’s frequent appeals to judges ruling on grounds other than law–is that it allows judges to favor whichever particular client they view as “despised and disadvantaged.” The judiciary is not to favor any one particular group, but to secure justice equally for all through impartial application of the Constitution and laws. Senators should vigorously question Ms. Kagan about such statements to determine whether she is truly committed to the rule of law. Nothing less should be expected from anyone appointed to a life-tenured position as one of the final arbiters of justice in our country.
The American people agree. According to a national post-election 2008 survey of 800 actual voters, the polling company, inc. found that 70% of respondents preferred that judges not base their decisions on personal views and feelings. And according to the latest Quinnipiac University Poll by a 16 point margin more Americans believe the Supreme Court should only consider the original intentions of the authors of the Constitution instead of considering changing times and current realities. And finally, the latest Gallup poll shows that more Americans “would prefer a new Supreme Court justice who makes the court more conservative (42%) over one who would make the Court more liberal (27%).” Let’s hope the Senate gives the American people what they want.”
During the past week in which I was in meetings in the capital regarding the National Day of Prayer, I spent some time with Tony Perkins, the principled and articulate spokesman of the Family Research Council. He’s another voice of sanity that I trust. Here’s his view of Elena Kagan:
“She has the least amount of experience of any nominee in the last three decades. Her judicial experience is zero, as is her real-world experience, having spent most of her career in academia or working as a Democratic Party insider. She did serve on an advisory committee for Goldman Sachs during the financial meltdown of 2007!
Her tenure as Dean of Harvard Law School is marked by kicking the military off campus during the height of the Iraq War, a move that even Ruth Bader Ginsburg ruled was wrong-headed. Ms. Kagan’s incredibly hostile view of the military suggests she is out of touch with mainstream sensibilities and obedience to the rule of law.
Recently, in her brief tenure as Solicitor General, she argued that the federal government has the power, under campaign finance laws, to ban certain books and pamphlets. Responding to this argument of Ms. Kagan, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, ‘As a free-floating test for First Amendment coverage, that (proposition) is startling and dangerous.'”
Now she’s about to be elevated to the highest court on the land–all because some of us voted for the wrong president.
Even if you’re not a John McCain fan, let’s back up for a moment and imagine an America where John McCain was president. If that had happened, here are a few differences we might expect to have seen:
- There would not have been a trillion dollar stimulus package. President McCain wouldn’t have thrown many federal dollars at America’s financial woes. There would have been no earmarks. John McCain has never voted for an earmark is his lengthy Senate career.
- Taxes would be lowered to deal with the recession and the Bush tax cuts would remain in place. This certainly would have positively affected the job market and unemployment. It wouldn’t be stuck at 10-17%.
- The Federal Government would not own General Motors and would not be expanding at breakneck speed. “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” would not be in jeopardy and the siege on the family and traditional marriage would be held at bay.
But most importantly, if John McCain had been elected president in 2008 we would already have one new constructionist judge on the US Supreme Court instead of liberal activist Sonia Sodomayor. And Monday, President McCain would have nominated another.
When confirmed, that nominee would have effectively blocked any semblance of judicial tyranny and even provided the deciding vote that could overturn the infamous Roe v. Wade decision. In the coming years, millions of innocent children would be saved from the cruelty and injustice of abortion.
That is, if people of faith had voted for John McCain. Instead we have Barack Obama and now Elena Kagan.
Elections have consequences. In this case, very tragic ones indeed.