Obama’s judges

The president has the right to appoint anyone he wants as a court judge. That is his legal authority, one accepted by voters who, by electing a president, agree to his judicial philosophy.

Nevertheless, the Senate Republican minority is refusing to recognize this authority. They are abusing the upper chamber’s constitutional duty of “advising and consenting” to the appointment of judges in order to prevent Obama from making his mark in the judicial power like previous presidents.

Therefore, it is not surprising that the Republican caucus reacted negatively to the president appointing three candidates to the important—because of its jurisdiction—U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. yesterday. Even if one of the candidates worked in a previous Republican administration and another was earlier confirmed for a federal court appointment without opposition.

These appointments continue the path set by the White House of betting on diversity, in this case two women and an African-American man, instead of prioritizing ideology, like George W. Bush did.

However, Senator Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, sees this as an attempt by Obama to pack this 11-member court based on ideology. The senator is so intent on maintaining a conservative majority in D.C. that he introduced unusual legislation to decrease the court’s size and prevent Obama from fulfilling one of the missions for which he was elected.

The balance between Democratic and Republican judges in the courts shifts based on which party holds the presidency. Nevertheless, these dynamics have changed because of the obstructionist strategy of the Republican congressional caucus.

The Republican’s goal is to keep a majority of judges with a restrictionist judicial vision that opposes consumer interests, the rights of minorities and individual protections.

Obama’s judicial appointments will open a battle. Like with other issues, this will mainly be the result of obstructionism being used to promote a judicial ideology that voters rejected at the polls.