Upon my return to Washington, D.C. in 2017 after a decade in Colorado, I vividly remember seeing protesters holding signs in front of the Supreme Court. These weren’t signs protesting the latest “controversial” court ruling but rather the nominee President Trump had just announced to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. What struck me most about the signs is that the word “OPPOSE” was professionally printed, while “Gorsuch,” the judge for whom I had previously clerked, was hand-written in a blank space.
During his confirmation hearing, liberals could find no reasonable basis on which to challenge Justice Gorsuch. But when progressive Democrat Sen. Pat Leahy dared explore the idea that he might not filibuster this nomination, he faced an immediate and harsh backlash from the left. Fortunately, and much to the chagrin of those who managed to spell his name correctly, Justice Gorsuch was confirmed. What many may not realize is the fact that Republicans were only able to confirm Justice Gorsuch after the incredibly intense, unprecedented and senseless level of obstruction by Democrats forced a permanent change in how the Senate handles judicial nominations.
In 2018, we saw this playbook repeat itself with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh. This time, instead of using crayons and markers, the left had pre-printed signs opposing a number of potential nominees reported to be in the running to fill the seat of the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. The truth is, Democrats have been using their strategy of mindless opposition for decades, ever since they realized how easily they could kill conservative judicial nominations after doing so with Judge Robert Bork in 1987.
They tried it again with Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991, but that time, conservatives fought back and prevailed – by the narrowest margin in over a century. Democrats blocked supremely qualified nominees, like Judge Janice Rogers Brown (a Black woman) and Miguel Estrada (a Hispanic man) in the early 2000s, attempting to dry up what they saw as a pipeline for future Republican presidents’ Supreme Court nominees. The Democrats pretend they want more women and minorities appointed to the federal bench, but liberals are particularly harsh on such nominees if they dare to think differently. Liberals do not care who the nominees are nor how qualified they may be – or even if they are actually conservative, as evidenced by their opposition to the nominations of Justices Stevens, Kennedy, and Souter. If judges are nominated by Republican presidents, the left will pull out all the stops to bring them down. Liberals have proven this over and over and over.
I saw this firsthand with the attacks on Justice Kavanaugh, when I served as the Senate staff leader for his Supreme Court confirmation in 2018, as Democrats tried their best to humiliate and destroy a good man in front of his family – and the world. Motivated by their almost religious zeal to protect the abortion industry, Democrats put Justice Kavanaugh and his family through hell as they smeared him with their lies.
Democrats are now turning their wrath on Judge Amy Coney Barrett, attacking her faith and her family in a naked attempt to deny her a seat on the Supreme Court. Democrats, who proudly display “coexist” bumper stickers on their electric cars and claim to support empowered women who “have it all,” have suddenly abandoned those principles when that woman is a conservative nominee for the Supreme Court. The very people who should be most supportive of a woman as exceptionally accomplished, both personally and professionally, as Judge Barrett are now threatening to burn down the country in opposition.
Democrats have proven time and again that there is no low to which they will not stoop in opposing conservative judicial nominees. In this case, past is indeed prologue, and we know that the next month will be the most arduous of Judge Barrett’s life. Sadly, this will also be the case for her husband, and most unfortunately, their seven innocent children (five biological, including one with Down’s syndrome, and two adopted from Haiti). Fortunately, Judge Barrett’s faith and family – both of which the left loathes – will sustain her.
History has also informed Republicans, whose resolve has been battle-hardened and who now stand ready to charge headlong into war behind this nominee. Republicans care deeply about the rule of law and know that this nominee has both the qualifications and commitment to uphold it. Amy Coney Barrett is not just a name naively scrawled on a protestor’s crude sign. She is, far and away, the best person for this job, and that is why she will be the next United States Supreme Court Justice.
Mike Davis is president of the Article III Project, a conservative nonprofit that supports and defends President Trump’s judicial nominees.