Constitutionalism is the belief that a judge's proper role is as neutral interpreter of established law, not as pioneer of new law or social policy through judicial activism. As former Sen. Sam Ervin said: "A judicial activist is a judge who interprets the Constitution to mean what it would have said if he, instead of the Founding Fathers, had written it." The constitutionalist philosophy, also known as originalism and textualism, was the jurisprudential norm in American history, but has eroded substantially in recent decades.
Today’s contentious national debate over federal judges is a struggle over the American system of government. Due to judicial activism, the courts have become in many ways simply another political branch of government. Opponents of limited government, federalism, and separation of powers, unable to achieve their goals through democratic channels, increasingly rely on politicized judges to further their goals. A well-organized coalition of anti-business forces, racial grievance groups, trial lawyers, Big Labor, and other activists, funded by the New York-Hollywood axis and trial lawyers, is fighting hard to prevent a return to ideologically neutral courts.
These activists have convinced Senate Democrats to adopt a strategy of unprecedented partisan warfare against President Bush’s Circuit Court nominees. So far in the 108th Congress, the President has nominated 33 excellent men and women to the Circuit Courts, fewer than half of whom have been confirmed. More troubling, six nominees have been obstructed by unprecedented and unconstitutional filibuster and 14 remain in limbo. Never in American history have judicial confirmations been so contentious, and we know it will only get worse once a Supreme Court vacancy arises.
The Committee for Justice and Committee for Justice Foundation were founded to defend and promote constitutionalist judicial nominees to the courts, and to educate the public on the importance of the courts in their lives.