Thursday, October 29, 2020

Daines Key to Helping President Trump Redefine the Judicial Frontier

by By Mike Davis
| October 11, 2020 12:00 AM

There is no greater supporter of President Trump’s transformation of the nation’s judiciary than Steve Daines. Senator Daines is now fighting to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court and ensure that all future judicial nominees will also protect and defend the Constitution.

In his first term in the United States Senate, Daines has worked tirelessly to confirm highly qualified federal judges in the mold of the late, great Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia – conservatives who understand that their modest, but critical, role under the Constitution is to protect us from government overreach and mob rule. Senator Daines has ensured that America’s federal judiciary protects our constitutional rights and liberties – whether it’s our right to speak, worship, or protect our families. This benefits all Montanans and citizens across the country.

Now President Trump needs Senator Daines more than ever with the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Judge Barrett, who clerked for Justice Scalia, is a rock-solid conservative, mother of seven, and overall brilliant judge. Despite her eminent qualifications to sit on the nation’s highest court, liberal extremists have promised to pull out all the stops in opposing this critical nominee.

Make no mistake. America’s judiciary – and our way of life – are on the line this November. If Joe Biden and Kamala Harris win office, Democrats will almost certainly keep control of the House. And if Montanans send Steve Bullock to Washington instead, that would almost certainly mean the Senate will change hands, ensuring full Democrat control, and they stand ready to get their way by any means necessary.

Senate Democrats will almost certainly “nuke” the legislative filibuster, lowering the vote threshold from 60 to only 51 votes needed to pass their radical agenda. Furthermore, there is no doubt Democrats will try to “pack” the Supreme Court – a radical scheme to add new justices by expanding the number of seats from 9 to 11 (or more) to cancel the conservative majority and erase our last line of defense. Lest you think these plans are merely speculative, Democrats have openly stated that this is their goal. Joe Biden has steadfastly refused to say he will not pack the court. And we all know what that means – Biden will do the radical left’s bidding on court packing.

The next President could replace three or more retiring Supreme Court justices, in addition to adding two or more through Democrats’ radical court-packing schemes. Joe Biden doesn’t want you to see his Supreme Court shortlist full of far-left activists, as they’d scare the hell out of American voters. But we know the kind of person President Trump will put on the Court—just look at Judge Amy Coney Barrett and his updated public list of 44 exceptionally well-qualified potential Supreme Court picks, which includes many judges that Senator Daines helped confirm.

With Senator Daines at his side, President Donald Trump has appointed a near record-shattering 218 Article III judges to the federal bench. These include U.S. Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and soon, Amy Coney Barrett as well, along with 53 federal circuit judges confirmed to the critically important federal circuit courts – the final stop for more than 99% of federal appeals.

When President Trump took office, Republican-appointed judges were a majority on only 4 of the 13 federal circuit courts. With the help of Senator Daines, President Trump has “flipped” control of the 2nd, 3rd, and 11th Circuits from majority Democrat-appointed to majority Republican-appointed. This means that the rule of law – instead of the will of agenda-driven liberal activists – is more likely to prevail in those circuits and the states therein.

And on the notoriously liberal San Francisco-based 9th Circuit, which includes Montana, eleven more judges had been appointed by Democrat Presidents than Republicans when President Trump took office. It’s now down to just three. When President Trump and Senator Daines win reelection this year, they could achieve the unthinkable: flipping that circuit to conservative control, in addition to flipping control of every other federal circuit court, simply by replacing Democrat appointees eligible for retirement.

The 9th Circuit transformation is particularly commendable. The once unbalanced bench – often reversed by the Supreme Court for ruling against the Trump Administration every chance it gets – features ten new constitutional conservative jurists committed to upholding the rule of law, thanks in part to Senator Daines.

Ryan Nelson, a former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division at the Justice Department, is one of those judges. He sits alongside Lawrence VanDyke, a Montana native and graduate of Montana State University and Harvard Law who previously served as solicitor general of Montana. President Trump recently included Judge VanDyke on his list as a possible nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Both judges rank among the country’s brightest legal minds and represent the conservative legal movement defining the transformation of the federal judiciary.

When Montanans send Senator Daines back for another term in the Senate, they’ll be giving President Trump a crucial vote he needs to ensure that every federal appellate court from coast to coast is kept within its limited but critical role in our government: protecting our constitutional rights from those who would strip them. This opportunity is nothing short of historic.

As the Senate prepares to confirm a new Supreme Court justice, Americans need strong, principled leadership now more than ever. Steve Daines understands what’s at stake and is ready to fight for you.

Mike Davis is the founder and president of the Article III Project (A3P). Last Congress, Davis served as the chief counsel for nominations to then-Chairman Chuck Grassley on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he worked with Senator Daines on judicial nominations and served as staff leader for the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh and a record number of federal circuit judges. Davis previously clerked for Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, both on the Supreme Court and Tenth Circuit.