The stakes for our judiciary could not be higher in the 2016 presidential election. Our 45th President won't just be nominating the traditional one or two justices to the Supreme Court during his or her tenure, but likely three or four.
For better or worse, the Supreme Court sits on the precipice of a sea change; decades of constitutional precedent hang in the balance, with religious liberty, freedom of conscience, gun rights, and the sanctity of life facing increasing assault from judicial activists.
Jeb Bush, throughout his two terms as Governor of Florida, has demonstrated an acute awareness of the importance of fighting for and confirming proven conservative judges. For this reason, more than any other Republican candidate currently running, Governor Bush is the best choice to protect our Constitution.
Judicial activism is the substitution of the law as it is written with the law the judge desires. Examples of such constitutional malpractice abound.
When, in Roe v. Wade, the justices read an expansive right to abortion into a Constitution that does not mention it, they substituted their will for that of the people.
When, in Obergefell v. Hodges, the justices struck down state laws across the country, usurping the voice of the citizenry by rewriting a definition of marriage that had existed for millennia, they eroded federalism and our democratic process of decisionmaking.
When, in King v. Burwell, the justices performed judicial gymnastics, bending over backwards to reread the statutory text of the Affordable Care Act, they forsook the gavel of the impartial judge for the pen of the elected legislator, rewriting a law as though they were a congressional committee.
Governor Bush can and will protect against the advance of judicial activism. He will nominate judges with a proven track record of interpreting the law, rather than making the law. And he will fight hard to get those nominees confirmed, even against the inevitable opposition of nearly all Senate Democrats.
As he has said, "A healthy respect for the people's right of self-government, and a strong dose of humility, are absolute prerequisites for a good judge."
Humility is indeed the essence of judicial restraint; it is a recognition that the judge's role is that of a humble servant to the law and to the people.
Governor Bush's track record as Governor of Florida shows an unfailing commitment to a conservative approach to judicial appointments. As Governor, Jeb took on special interests to reform the appointment process. His two appointments to the Florida Supreme Court, Raul Cantero and Kenneth Bell, have both demonstrated consistent careers as the Florida High Court's conservatives. Additionally, two of the appellate judges that Jeb nominated are now serving with distinction on the Florida Supreme Court, Charles Canady and Ricky Polston. Governor Bush devoted substantial time and resources to vetting these nominees, a process he says he will use as a model in the White House — where it is needed even more.
The stakes are too high to settle for a Republican nominee without a proven track record. A misstep is likely to bring decades of further judicial activism. Prudence and care are of the utmost significance when it comes time to pull the lever in the ballot box. Jeb Bush is the best choice for the future of America because he is the best choice for the future of our Constitution.