President Obama sent another reminder on Monday about the importance of this fall’s Senate races by resubmitting five judicial nominations so extreme as to be alien to the American experience.
All five nominations were held up for months because not even many Democrats want to go on the record voting for their confirmation. The nominations officially lapsed when the Senate recessed for more than 30 days in August. Rather than letting them die quietly and without embarrassment, the president renominated them - as if to emphasize his utter disdain for the usual American norms of justice.
The five radical judicial nominees are:
Robert N. Chatigny, a federal district judge from Connecticut, showed bizarre sympathy for a serial rapist-murderer, saying his “sexual sadism” was a “mitigating factor” rather than reason to punish him to the extent of the law. “He’s at Cornell, he had this classmate, this petite Asian girl who is sweet, and he likes her, and he winds up killing her because he has this affliction, this terrible disease,” the judge said in conference. “[It was] this awful, uncontrollable impulse to sexually brutalize this person he liked and then kill her. … Michael Ross may be the least culpable, the least, of the people on death row.” This was no isolated incident. Judge Chatigny imposed sentences well below the recommended minimum in a series of child-pornography and sexual-assault cases and even tried to invalidate Connecticut’s version of the Megan’s Law sex-offender registry.
Federal magistrate Edward M. Chen of San Francisco objected to the singing of “America the Beautiful” at a funeral because of his “feelings of ambivalence and cynicism when confronted by appeals to patriotism.” He also once explained that a judge should “draw upon the breadth and depth of their own life experience. … Inevitably, one’s ethnic and racial background contributes to those life experiences.” So much for a neutral arbiter of justice.
University of California at Berkeley law professor Goodwin W. Liu likewise has argued that the judiciary should be “a culturally situated interpreter of social meaning” and that there is a constitutional right to welfare.
Former state Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler of Wisconsin and U.S. District Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., of Rhode Island both are subservient to jackpot-justice trial lawyers. They each argued in separate cases that paint manufacturers should be held liable for lead poisoning in children today for paint made decades ago even if there’s no evidence the poisoning came from paint actually made by the manufacturer in question. This is such a departure from evidence-based law - and beyond guilt by association, into an even worse guilt by insinuation - that it makes a mockery of the judicial system.
The Senate is asked to give consent to judicial nominations for lifetime appointments to the bench. Given the constitutionally unhinged nominees Mr. Obama is pushing, the nation needs as many conservative senators as possible to oppose them.