With the President’s announcement last night we begin the process of confirming a Supreme Court nominee. Expect the partisan rancor to be at an all-time high. As we mentioned a few weeks ago, The Washington Post correctly reminded everyone that this is not a Presidential campaign, that this process should be more, well, judicious. (Of course as we pointed out, The Post front page writers continued to be anything but judicious). The Post has also called on the President to name someone who will interpret the law, precisely the standard we’ve advocated. The New York Times, of course, only cautioned the President not to nominate somebody that was too conservative. (Perhaps the junior Senator from New York would be moderate enough for the Times…?)
NAM President John Engler has long said that we can’t sit on the sidelines and watch these nomination battles as spectators, when these Justices have such a huge impact on our day to day lives as manufacturers. This also happens to have been one of his main areas of focus as Governor of Michigan for 12 years, appointing well over a hundred state judges, including three state Supreme Court justices. We have impaneled a Judicial Review Committee, a 10-member committee made up of lawyers from manufacturing companies, our members. (See a pattern here…?) Beginning immediately, they will review John Roberts’ record to see whether he is someone who, in our view, will interpret, not make law from the bench. If he passes muster, they will receive the NAM imprimatur. We will send letters – and our lobbyists – to Capitol Hill and we will come back to you, our members and let you know, urging you to weigh in with your Senators. As we’ve said in this space before, some 80% of a federal judge’s caseload is made up of issues with a direct impact on manufacturers. Also, many of our hard-won gains in the legislative and executive branches can be wiped out by an overly ambitious judge with their own view of the law. We will begin to be involved in this most important nomination, starting today.
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