Judicial Battle Just Got Nastier

May 16, 2005

If anyone doubted which side of the political aisle is playing dirty in the fight over federal judicial nominees, he hasn’t read about the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League’s mission to dig up financial and other dirt against 30 sitting federal appellate judges.

Columnist Bob Novak unveiled the story in his May 16 column, reporting that a California political consulting firm requested the financial records of U.S. Appeals Court Judge Edith Jones and 29 other “appellate judges in all but one of the country’s judicial circuits, including nine widely mentioned Supreme Court possibilities.” According to Novak, such a mass request for disclosure by federal judges is unprecedented.

But what makes this more interesting is that one of the partners in the consulting firm is Craig Varoga, a former aide to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. Should we assume complicity on Reid’s part?

Until I hear of him denouncing this outrage, I’ll presume he’s supportive of it. With his consistent pugnaciousness and pettiness in these Senate skirmishes and his recent demeaning reference to President Bush as a “loser” before high school students, we now know Reid’s not the mild-mannered public servant he pretends to be.

Don’t forget, also, that Reid recently smeared by innuendo one of the president’s appellate court nominees when he suggested that very damaging information existed in the judge’s confidential FBI file.

And Reid has the audacity to lecture Republicans about a so-called “nuclear option” when his former associate and his current constituency groups are engaged in this kind of wholesale privacy invasion against federal judges?

Do you think it’s even possible there is something suspicious about all 30 judges prompting an investigation into their financial records? Could it be any more obvious that we are witnessing a Larry Flynt-style fishing expedition?

Can you imagine the chilling effect this could have on federal judges? Many doubt the dirt hunt is limited to the judges’ public records. Judicial confirmation Network counsel Wendy E. Long said: “It’s clear that Sen. Reid’s former communications director, who how runs a left-wing political research firm, has not been hired by NARAL simply to obtain public records. You don’t hire an expensive political research firm to do what the Senate Democratic staff can easily do.”

Long has a point. No one with the slightest discernment would believe that you’d hire such a high-powered group merely to file a public records request. What else do you think this group might be up to?

Is nothing sacred anymore? I wonder what it would take these days to offend the sensibilities of rank and file Democrats, whose party leadership continues to descend lower and lower into the ethical abyss in furtherance of its ideological ends.

I’m not confident anything would, given the gravity of the stakes involved in this war over judicial nominees. Democrats seem to be wholly committed to preventing the federal bench from being divested of its extra-constitutional components. Only over their figurative dead bodies will judges who believe in interpreting the Constitution according to its original intent and plain meaning be confirmed.

Of the two political parties, which has the cleaner hands in the fight over federal judgeships? One party is fighting to the death for the “privacy” “rights” of women to “choose” to kill their own babies in the womb on demand and, in the process, is in bed with groups engaged in the most egregious privacy-invading expedition against prospective Supreme Court nominees.

This party is so adamant about achieving the policy end of sanctioning this form of murder that it is willing to obliterate the Constitution both by converting the judiciary into a policy-making branch and by using its minority weapon of filibustering the president’s judicial nominees to usurp his appointment power and the Senate majority’s advice and consent prerogative.

The other party is guilty of wanting to confirm the president’s appointment of judges who would respect the Constitution and who might overturn Roe v. Wade and its judicial progeny such that the issue of the legality of abortion would revert to the states to be decided according to the will of their people.

If everyone’s finances are so relevant all of a sudden, perhaps someone should do an expose concerning the financial workings of NARAL to inquire, among other things, into what kind of incentives NARAL and other such groups have actually to be pro-choice, as opposed to pro-death. What’s good for the goose …