By Tim Wildmon | AFA President
We may long remember January 31, 2006, as the most important date
in our republics recent history. On that day Samuel Alito
was confirmed by the U. S. Senate to replace the retiring Supreme
Court Justice Sandra Day OConnor. The vote was 58-42.
The reason this vote was so important is that Justice OConnor
was often a pivotal vote against traditional values in many of the
critical decisions of our time. Despite being appointed by the most
conservative president of the modern era, President Ronald Reagan,
OConnor was a liberal on social/moral issues.
In addition, Justices Anthony Kennedy and David Souter appointed
by Reagan and President George H.W. Bush respectively also
turned out to be disappointments to those who voted for Republican
presidents in hopes of seeing the Supreme Court return to a conservative
majority. By conservative, I mean an ideology that basically says
citizens should determine the laws of the nation through their duly
elected representatives instead of the Supreme Court denying them
(us) the opportunity to do so by striking down laws that supported
traditional moral values or a Biblical worldview.
Despite the advances of secularism and relativism in America, I
still believe our side the traditionalist side can
win on most issues at a legislative level, if only because we will
out- work those on the Left. When it comes to affecting politics
and public policy, we can win at the local level, at the state level
and in the United States Congress. The problem has been that we
work hard, elect the right people (even good presidents), get laws
passed and then some federal court negates all of our hard work
with one ruling. It happens regularly.
To say the least, this has been extremely frustrating for those
of us in the pro-life, pro-family movement.
One of the most egregious recent examples of this pattern was the
May 12, 2005, decision rendered by Federal Judge Joseph Battaillon
striking down an amendment to the state constitution of Nebraska
which defined marriage as between one man and one woman. This was
a state-wide referendum in November 2004 which passed with 70% of
the citizens voting in favor of the amendment. But Judge Joseph
ignored the will of the voters in Nebraska and struck down the marriage
This is what many in this country are tired of, I believe. And
so they put their trust in President George W. Bush to appoint federal
judges who are not going to do this type of thing.
And despite his low approval ratings and some areas of strong disagreement
with his conservative base, President Bush has not disappointed.
He has followed through with his campaign promise to appoint conservative
judges to the federal bench. In the process, liberals in the Senate
have fought him tooth and nail on many of his appointments, often
using character assassination against nominees and distorting their
records or deliberately taking statements out of context.
On more than one occasion they have even used trumped-up charges
of racism against conservative nominees. But I believe this partisan
bickering and "gotcha politics" has grown tiresome even
among fair-minded Democrats.
Today is a new day. Assuming new Chief Justice John Roberts and
Justice Alito are both the strong conservatives we now have four
votes (including Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia) in
favor of returning the right of self-governance to the states and
municipalities, and thus returning government to the people.
But that is still only four votes . Five votes are needed to bring
about real change in American jurisprudence at the federal level.
Said Gary Bauer, president of American Values: "This is an
important victory, my friends. I fully expect Justice Alito will
make a crucial difference, especially when it comes to ending the
high courts hostility to the free exercise of religion in
the public square. But the battle is not over. We are one step closer,
but we still do not have a conservative majority on the Supreme
Court. For all the liberal bluster about balance, the
Supreme Court has four liberal justices Breyer, Ginsburg,
Souter, and Stevens, and four conservative justices Alito,
Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas. That means Justice Anthony Kennedy
is the new OConnor or swing vote."
What we really need is for another liberal justice to retire so
that President Bush can solidify a conservative majority on the
Will that happen? Only time will tell.