Opinion

BLACKWELL: Voters Are Sick Of Democrats Obstructing Judicial Nominees

REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert

Ken Blackwell Former Ohio Secretary of State

Working to re-litigate the 2016 election, Democrats are dredging up any petty issue they can find and calling for congressional investigations. Democrats have conjured up more than 20 inquiries ranging from campaign finance, perjury and the never-ending Russia probe.

While House and Senate Democrats clamor for one investigation after another, a second layer of Democratic obstruction is well underway.  Democrats are blocking confirmation of Trump-nominated judges at every level of the federal judicial system.

According to the Judicial Crisis Network, the average time between the nomination and confirmation of nine federal judges who were finally confirmed this month was 412 days. Yet, Democrats have complained that judicial nominees are being rushed through the Senate without proper vetting.

How does taking far more than a year to confirm federal judges constitute a rush?

The idea that judicial nominees have been rushed is blatantly false. We have about 140 present or anticipated judicial vacancies. Subjecting nine judges an an average wait of 412 days is abysmal, especially considering those nine judges were each confirmed by 60 to 80 votes — a substantial margin. Any claim that these judges were unqualified or ultra-radical holds no water.

Republican leaders are understandably fed up with the Democratic circus antics. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the champion of the judicial confirmation movement, aired his frustrations in an opinion published in April: “Our Democratic colleagues made the Senate jump over five times as many hurdles as in the equivalent periods in the Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations combined.”

Will Democratic efforts to slow the process cost them votes in 2020? It’s likely. Their penchant for obstruction only appeals to the most radical fringe of their party. The vast majority of Americans want both political parties in Washington to work together to pass legislation and promote public policies that benefit the people. Most people see through the political game playing and the calculated obstruction — which is one big reason many members of Congress have consistently poor approval ratings.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said it best during her speech on the Senate floor during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, “Today we have come to the conclusion of a confirmation process that has become so dysfunctional, it looks more like a caricature of a gutter-level political campaign than a solemn occasion.”

It’s relatively easy to play the role of obstructionist, all one has to do is block the progress of another. It’s far more challenging to offer compelling ideas and put forth policies to help lead our nation forward. Republicans have learned from past electoral losses — Mitt Romney is one excellent example — that you cannot win elections by merely being against someone. Leaders must offer the American people a realistic vision for success and prosperity.

Deliberately obstructing our president and holding up essential operations, including the work of our federal courts, could well backfire on Democrats in next year’s elections. If Democrats don’t start showing some level of honest cooperation with Republicans, they could easily find themselves on the wrong end of a political avalanche.

Ken Blackwell (@KenBlackwell) is a senior fellow for human rights and constitutional governance at the Family Research Council. He served as Ohio’s secretary of state from 1999-2007.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.