Originally created 08/31/97

Vote down activist judges



When Congress reconvenes, the GOP majority must start fulfilling a longtime commitment to fight judicial activism on the federal bench. So far, in a misplaced bow to "bipartisanship," the Senate has rubber-stamped almost all of President Clinton's permissive judgeship picks.

This is a terrible mistake, because although Clinton talks a tough law-and-order game, behind the scenes he uses his power of appointments to pay off his party's far Left base. Consequently, people like Clarence Sundrum are being sent up for confirmation.

Sundrum, nominated for U.S. District Court in New York, never practiced law in his life. He's a career bureaucrat, having headed up New York State's mental health agency for more than 20 years. He is very cozy with New York liberals and has all the earmarks of an activist judge -- one who makes law instead of interpreting it.

He is also an advocate of legalizing drugs. Is this the kind of person Americans want to give lifetime tenure on the federal bench? Do we want him making decisions about convicting and sentencing murderous drug pushers?

If the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, shoots down Sundrum's nomination, it will sent a strong signal that when it comes to activist judges, the Senate isn't just consenting anymore. It's also advising that such judges are unacceptable to the American people.