Conservatives pushing for 'best of the best' on the bench

Conservatives pushing for 'best of the best' on the bench

Conservatives pushing for 'best of the best' on the bench

Conservative leaders argue it's time to start factoring in a judicial nominee's worldview when evaluating their suitability for the federal bench.

AFA Action – the political arm of American Family Association – has launched the Center for Judicial Renewal. The purpose of the Center is to research and grade candidates and nominees for the federal judiciary. Walker Wildmon of AFA Action contends conservative coalitions have omitted a critical step when it comes to looking at judicial candidates.

Wildmon, Walker (AFA VP operations) Wildmon

"We have not been fully factoring in the worldview of these judicial nominations," Wildmon tells AFN. "We've been focused heavily on case law [and] previous judicial rulings – but we have not been looking at [things like] where do these candidates go to church; are they Bible-believing Christians; what's their personal view on marriage."

Different factors like those, he explains, do weigh into the decision-making when conservatives evaluate judicial nominations.

"We're trying to provide a more robust view of the potential nominees so that we make sure that we get the best of the best of the best nominees in the future," Wildmon adds.

Attorney Phillip Jauregui, who is heading up the Center for Judicial Renewal, points out that evangelicals have been burned in the past by people and organizations that select and recommend judicial candidates.

Jauregui, Phillip (Ctr for Judicial Review) Jauregui

"We have had bad experiences over the last 50 years," he shares. "In fact, liberals have gotten it right just about 100% of the time with Supreme Court nominations. [In contrast,] Constitutionalists have gotten it wrong about 50% of the time – and that has to change."

And with another presidential election less than two years away, the attorney says now is a good time for the launch of the Center.

"We want to have these names in the mix with presidential candidates so that when a vacancy comes, we're ready for it," says Jauregui. "[We want to] get that once-in-a-generation opportunity right, rather than getting it wrong and then having to live with it for 30 years."

According to Wildmon, more than 250 pages of the Center's research on prospective nominees is currently available.

The Center for Judicial Renewal is one of three divisions comprising AFA Action, the other two being the Center for Government Renewal and iVoterGuide.

Editor's Note: AFA Action is an affiliate of the American Family Association, the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates AFN.net.