Fred Thompson and Supreme Court nominations
By Bruce Walker
Anyone who reads my articles by now knows that I believe that Fred Thompson is the next Ronald Reagan, that he will enter the Republican nomination process, that he will walk away with the nomination (just as Reagan did in 1980), and that he will waltz through the general election. Having a strong president during our long war on terror is one of the two critical reasons to have a conservative Republican in the White House.
The other reason, almost as important to conservatives, is to have a man who will appoint real conservatives, like Samuel Alito, to the Supreme Court. It is dead certain that the next president will nominate at least one more justice to the Supreme Court and highly likely that he could appoint two or even three. All domestic policy issues pivot around the federal judiciary. It is almost impossible to overestimate the importance of having a president who could pick men and women with "the right stuff" to be on the Supreme Court. How effectively could Fred Thompson do this?
Consider this: when President Bush needed someone to shepherd his nomination of John Roberts as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he picked none other than Fred Thompson to do it. What would Thompson have been so effective in this role?
First, Fred Thompson is genuinely liked by his former colleagues in the United States Senate. Even the most hostile Bush-haters in the Senate simply could not get personal and angry with Thompson. No door was shut to him. No nasty sound bites from Leftist senators were bounced off Fred Thompson's head during the confirmation process. It is not just that Thompson is somewhat like Reagan in being a "Teflon" politician, but also that Thompson was a "Teflon" politician who was their colleague in the most exclusive club in global politics, the United States Senate. This makes Thompson twice charmed – as a man immune to insinuations of indifference and caprice (like Reagan) and as a man who is seriously liked and admired by Senate colleagues (as his mentor, Howard Baker.)
Second, Fred Thompson is a very good lawyer who has worked on noble causes as a public servant. President Bush is not a lawyer (anymore than his father, President George H. Bush, was a lawyer.) This is often overlooked but critically important: Fred Thompson understands the arcane traditions of the legal profession and would observe them in nominating the man or woman with strong conservative values. He also understands, as an attorney who has dealt with the intricacies of constitutional issues in a role as pivotal as Republican counsel during the Watergate hearings, precisely what the constitutional issues facing Supreme Court nominees would be.
Third, Fred Thompson serves as a very principled prosecutor on the popular Law & Order television program. Not only is Thompson, in fact, a lawyer, but the public perceives him as a very ethical and professional lawyer. He would be able to do more than just let his nominees defend themselves, but President Thompson (has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?) would be able to defend himself, with courtesy and competence, his own nominations.
Fourth, Fred Thompson is an amazingly persuasive individual. Unlike the last two Presidents Bush, Thompson could speak directly to the American people, on Sunday morning talk shows, on radio, on Fox News, on any medium, and explain with perfect pitch, tone and reason why his nominee is good for America and good for the Constitution.
So, the only question remaining is this: would President Thompson appoint principled conservatives, like Scalia and Alito, or would he fold to pressure from Washington or yield to personal preference (as President Bush has with Harriet Miers and Alberto Gonzales, decent people but over their heads)? He certainly, as much as any man who has been president since William Howard Taft, knows good legal ability when he sees it (Taft, of course, was an outstanding Chief Justice after his presidency.) Fred Thompson left Washington because he was fed up with the lack of genuineness, and his whole life is a study in commitment to his principles. And Fred Thompson is a true and consistent conservative, whose voting record is consistent with his public positions.
In short, if I was asked to pick any American at all who I could place in the White House and who could and would select outstanding conservative jurists to serve on the Supreme Court and who could also get those nominees through the Senate without having to compromise his principles, it would be Fred Thompson (or should I say "President Thompson.?" He is the next Reagan. He will run. He will win. He will bring all decent Americans together.
Bruce Walker has been a published author in print and in electronic media since 1990. He is a contributing editor to Enter Stage Right and a regular contributor to Conservative Truth, American Daily, Intellectual Conservative, Web Commentary, NewsByUs and Men's News Daily. His first book, Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie by Outskirts Press was published in January 2006.
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