Solution? A bottom-up approach to conservative courts

Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Chris Woodward, Chad Groening (

gavel with Lady of JusticeThe supposed "conservative takeover" of the U.S. Supreme Court may not be happening after all.

According to USA Today, there is a budding "bromance" between Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts. The report points out that Kavanaugh and Roberts "have voted in tandem on nearly every case that's come before them since Kavanaugh joined the Court last October" – adding that "they've been more likely to side with the court's liberal justices than its other conservatives."

Friendships between justices aren't new. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the late Antonin Scalia were said to be close friends. Meanwhile, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor encouraged a weekly lunch between members of the high court. But it's not friendships among justices that concerns Phillip Jauregui.


"I'm less concerned about the friendship than just about the potential way that they're voting," says Jauregui, president of Judicial Action Group (JAG). "We need to be concerned [about how they vote] – but we need to be careful that we don't get overly concerned and end up speaking into existence the situation that we don't want and pushing these guys to a place we don't want them to go."

Some of the rulings are concerning, says Jauregui. "It's the same reason, honestly, that when this seat opened up we took a pretty strong position that we thought Kavanaugh was not the right nominee, because there were concerns – and this is the type of thing that we saw," he shares.

Less time for obstruction = more conservative judges

Meanwhile, a Mississippi-based public policy advocacy group is praising the Senate Republican leadership for changing the rules in order to fast track the confirmations of President Donald Trump's judicial nominees for lower-level federal courts.

Since Trump took office, Democrats have been using obstruction tactics to delay the confirmation of his judiciary nominees by demanding 30 hours for Senate floor "debate" on the president's selections. But last week, the Republican leadership exercised what's called the "nuclear option" to allow a simple 51-vote majority to pass a motion to reduce the debate allowed for lower court and executive branch nominees from 30 hours to two hours.


"This will fast track President Trump's judicial nominees at the federal district level as well as lower cabinet-level members," explains Rob Chambers, vice president of AFA Action. "This will expedite the judicial confirmation process through the Senate, and I think you will see a logjam clearing."

In May 2018, AFA Action notified its grassroots supporters of this problem and urged them to ask their senators to end the obstruction and lower debate time on judicial nominees. Chambers now expects the rule change will allow the GOP-controlled Senate to continue putting conservative judges on federal courts across the country.

Editor's Note: AFA Action is a division of the American Family Association, the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates

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