Speakers at a rally designed to support socially conservative nominees to federal courts decried several decades of Supreme Court rulings on social issues, but made little direct mention of the current battle over a Supreme Court nominee.
When some leading Christian conservatives threw their weight behind Republican efforts recently to speed Senate approval of judicial nominees of President Bush, they subtitled their widely viewed “Justice Sunday” rally at a Kentucky church “Stopping the Filibuster Against People of Faith.”
Judge George Greer, a Florida county judge in the spotlight three times for ordering Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube removed, was advised by his Southern Baptist pastor to leave the congregation—despite the judge’s reputation as a conservative Republican and conservative Christian.
The U.S. House approval of a bill that would prevent courts from ruling on whether “under God” belongs in the Pledge of Allegiance has prompted a quick response from groups concerned about religious freedom and what critics called a series of “court-stripping” bills.
President Bush used a special presidential prerogative January 16 to get one of his most controversial judicial nominees installed, temporarily, on a federal appeals panel. Just days before Congress returned from its holiday recess to resume its legislative work, Bush used a “recess appointment” to get Charles Pickering installed as a judge on the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Americans are locked in an intense conflict over the role of federal courts. Conservatives are deeply aggrieved by Supreme Court decisions in the past 30 years that have struck down laws against abortion, laws on homosexuality, and certain laws and policies promoting religion in the public square.