The Courts: Conservatives' Work Bench for Freedom

January 20, 2021

Before conservatives get too depressed about the upcoming year, there are plenty of things President Trump did for America that an army of liberals can't change. Two hundred of them are sitting in America's courtrooms. And as one ruling after another keeps reminding us, they may be a more formidable foe than Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were counting on.

When President Biden was sworn in, he inherited a lot of challenges. One thing he didn't inherit, conservatives will be glad to know, are a lot of judicial vacancies. According to Ballotpedia, the 46th president is assuming office with the fewest job openings on the bench since George H.W. Bush's inauguration in 1989. In just four years, Donald Trump ran the table on judges, confirming 234 of his 274 federal nominations -- and all three of his U.S. Supreme Court justices.

Americans are about to understand just how important those statistics are, especially as states gear up for an onslaught of unconstitutional orders. "Save and Defend" is the name state attorneys general have given to the fight they plan to wage against any radical action handed down by Biden or the new Congress. Beefing up the game plan they used against Barack Obama, the states' law enforcers say the courts will be the last resort in holding the line.

"Save and Defend is going to be a pretty comprehensive initiative that we Republican attorneys general will engage in," said Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr (R). "Once we get a chance to roll that out and put some meat on the bones, it is going to be a primary focus for us Republican AGs." To a person, the AGs say they're more prepared for Biden than they were for Obama, and ready to go to the mat on anything that threatens the Constitution.

Unlike Democrats, they say they won't pick a fight just to score political points. During Trump's four years in office, the Washington Times points out, "Democratic attorneys general sued his administration 138 times." "[They] just sued constantly," Carr said. "We don't want to file lawsuits just based on headlines. We are going to look at it in terms of quality, not quantity. They never accepted Trump was president and just sued to block everything he did." These fights won't be based on personality, they insist, but principle.

In places like North Dakota, courts are already firing a warning shot over the threats Biden has been making on gender. Under the "transgender mandate," doctors, nurses, religious hospitals, and other medical personnel have been ordered to perform or cover gender transition surgeries against their morals and professional judgment. An order of Catholic nuns, a Catholic university, and Catholic health care organization sued the federal government, arguing that it can't force people to ignore their conscience or medical opinion.

On Tuesday, the night before Joe Biden's inauguration, a federal judge appointed by Trump struck the mandate down. It was the second ruling against the wildly unpopular mandate. "Now more than ever, Americans are grateful for the sacrifices of our medical professionals who serve on the front lines and use their training and expertise to serve the vulnerable," Becket's Luke Goodrich said. "All they're asking is that they be allowed to continue serving their patients as they've done for decades, without being forced to perform controversial, medically unsupported procedures that are against their religious beliefs and potentially harmful to their patients. The Constitution and federal law require no less."

Conservatives haven't always seen the courts as their friend, but the next two years has the potential to change that. Republicans should do to Democrats what they've done to us: make them fight for every inch. President Trump may not be here for four more years, but he left us with the next best thing -- a judicial system with more than 200 new originalists, ready to defend the freedoms radicals are coming for.