Unlike Obama, Republican Candidates Would Appoint Impartial Judges

Published Wed, Jun 29 2011 8:42 PM


Back in 2008, Obama said that “…the judge then has to bring in his or her own perspectives, his ethics, his or her moral bearings, and, in those circumstances, what I do want is a judge who’s sympathetic…” This “empathy” standard is actually—as Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has explained—“a code word for an activist judge.”  Obama’s approach of appointing judges whose personal beliefs influence their rulings from the bench has roundly been rejected by the candidates for the Republican Presidential nomination.  Take a look at some of their statements:

Michelle Bachmann: “I do not believe the judges should be legislating from the bench. As President of the United States, I would not appoint judges who are activists.” (June 27, 2011).

Herman Cain: “A justice must issue rulings based on the Constitution, not on any political leanings or desires to legislate from the bench.” (February 22, 2011).

Newt Gingrich: “I believe that the justices who believe that their personal view outweighs the voters of their state, the governor and the legislature of their state are fundamentally acting outside the American system.  I think the American system was one of a balance of power.  I think this whole modern – it starts with the Warren Court in 1958, 1959, this whole modern notion of judicial supremacy is false, and I think that that’s going to be one of the major issues in 2012 and beyond is whether you want judges dictating the nature of American or you want judges who accept the law and who have respect for the legislative and executive branches.” (May 25, 2011).

Gary Johnson: “Judges should be appointed who will interpret the Constitution according to its original meaning. Any court decision that does not follow this original meaning of the Constitution should be revisited.” (Unknown Date)

Tim Pawlenty: “As governor of the state of Minnesota, I appointed to the Supreme Court a conservative court for the first time in the modern history of my state…I’m the only one up here – I believe I’m the only one up here – who’s appointed solidly, reliably conservative appointees to the – to the court.” (June 13, 2011).

Ron Paul: “The political left increasingly uses the federal judiciary to do in court what it cannot do at the ballot box: advance an activist, secular, multicultural political agenda of which most Americans disapprove. As a society, we should reconsider the wisdom of lifetime tenure for federal judges, and pay closer attention to the judicial nomination procedure. It's time for the executive and legislative branches to show some backbone, appoint judges who follow the Constitution, and remove those who do not.” (October 5, 2004).

Mitt Romney: “I will support justices who believe in following the Constitution and not legislating from the bench.” (June 13, 2011).

Rick Santorum: “[E]xtreme liberal judges [are] destroying traditional morality, creating a new moral code and prohibiting any dissent…The Supreme Court has become the supreme branch of the government, imposing its unrestrained will on all of the people…The only way to restore this republic our founders envisioned is to elevate honorable jurists like Samuel Alito who want to replace the hubris of this court with humility and respect for the common sense of the American people.” (July 9, 2006).


Disclaimer: The Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) provides information of interest to lawyers about candidates for public office.  However, the inclusion of information about these candidates is not an endorsement of a specific candidate for public office.

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# The Republican Lawyer Blog said on Thursday, October 13, 2011 7:44 AM

Among the topics discussed by the presidential candidates at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D

# desertnonna@aol.com said on Sunday, October 23, 2011 1:30 PM

Supreme court justices should rule according to the Constitution of the United States. Also, why can't they be elected by the people just like other judges are elected. I also believe that they should have term limits. Right now Supreme Court Justices are appointed by the President and it has been noted that these justices are chosen not only for their knowledge etc.. but also whether they are liberal or conservative. This takes away the impartiality that should exist in the Federal Supreme Court.

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