Tea Parties closely watch Obama on Supreme Court nominee to decide whether to join conservative opposition
If President Obama chooses a liberal to replace Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court, will conservatives be able to rely on Tea Partiers to join an opposition effort?
Although “Constitution” is a favorite buzzword at the grassroots activists’ rallies, Tea Partiers are employing a wait-and-see approach on Obama’s impending high court pick.
“I think it depends on how radical left the nominee is,” said Tea Party Patriots national coordinator Mark Meckler, when asked if he could see activists, in the midst of judicial confirmation hearings, storming the halls of Congress like they did during the health-care debate.
Meckler said he expects the grassroots activist to be in tune with the nomination process because “Tea Party folks are more educated” than the other Americans.
Obama has yet to name a replacement for Stevens, who announced his retirement earlier this month.
Tom Fitton of the conservative group Judicial Watch, acknowledged Tea Partiers in a recent Associated Press article, saying, “You may have a whole new group of activists involved,” and Curt Levey of the conservative Committee for Justice said in the same article that he had spoken with some of the movement’s leaders to press upon them the importance Obama’s pick will have on their issues.
FreedomWorks chairman Dick Armey, in an interview with The Daily Caller, echoed similar sentiments, saying he expects Tea Partiers to wait so they can evaluate the nominee on their “big issues” before committing to putting up any kind of fight.
Standing backstage at a Washington, D.C., Tax Day rally, Armey suggested activists are much more interested in influencing the 2010 elections than any Obama high-court nomination process.
“I think for the most part at this point this is not the kind of central issue area we deal with, largely because we don’t really feel like we have the legal jurisprudence expertise,” Armey said.