It is essential that the President nominate, and the Senate confirm, only those judicial nominees who understand the difference between making and interpreting the law.  The conflict over judicial appointments is really a conflict over how much power judges should have when they interpret and apply the law to decide cases.  I believe strongly that judges must follow, rather than make, the law. 

Judges can make or break our liberty, so it is crucial that only individuals with a proper appreciation for the Constitution’s limits on federal power and the judiciary’s limited role be confirmed as judges with lifetime appointments. 

The Senate’s critical constitutional role of “advice and consent” is a check on the President’s power to appoint judges.  It allows the Senate to ensure that only men and women who are properly qualified become federal judges.  I believe that takes more than an impressive legal resume.  Judicial nominees who have the wrong judicial philosophy, or the wrong view of the power and proper role of judges in our system of government, are not qualified to be federal judges.  I will not support nominees whose records clearly establish that they will be activist judges. 

This requires carefully examining each nominee’s record of writings, speeches, decisions, and activities, and participating in hearings as nominees come before the Judiciary Committee.  Judges do more than simply decide a case between two parties.  In the process, they often must interpret both statutes that were passed by Congress and, even more important, the Constitution.  The Constitution and our laws must control judges, not the other way around.  If judges stay in their proper place, then the people and their elected representatives can decide how to run this great country.