The Media’s Latest Smear of a Trump Judicial Nominee

The Daily Signal | 8/19/2019 | Staff
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Thomas Jipping is deputy director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

Left-wing opponents of an impartial and independent judiciary have picked another target: appeals court nominee Steven Menashi.

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It’s one thing to be honest about a nominee’s record, but disagree about whether he belongs on the bench. The attacks begun on Menashi, however, amount to nothing more than dishonest smears.

Menashi, whose Jewish family came to the United States from Iran, received his law degree from Stanford before clerking first for U.S. Circuit Judge Douglas Ginsburg and then for Justice Samuel Alito. He became a partner at one of America’s premier law firms and has taught at two prestigious law schools.

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The brewing conflict over Menashi’s nomination, like so many others, is not about his qualifications, or really about him at all. It’s about the kind of judge he will be.

Justice Clarence Thomas recently wrote that “[o]ur judicial task is modest: We interpret and apply written law to the facts of particular cases.”

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Conflicts over judicial nominations, including Menashi’s, are about how judges should accomplish this task. Should judges be impartial, taking the Constitution and statutes as written and applying them neutrally? Or should judges be political, manipulating what the Constitution and statutes mean and applying them to favor certain political interests?

President Donald Trump nominated Menashi for the same reason his critics oppose him: Menashi will be an impartial, not a political, judge.

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In 2009, Menashi reviewed a book by liberal law professor Cass Sunstein. The book’s title spoke volumes: “A Constitution of Many Minds: Why the Founding Document Doesn’t Mean What it Meant Before.”

In his review, Menashi wrote that “living constitutionalists” like Sunstein “aim to establish not a ‘living’ but a zombie Constitution; they want to take the corpse of constitutional text...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Daily Signal
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