Obama Nomination of Qureshi to DC Court to Test Senate Republicans
“President Obama nominated Abid Riaz Qureshi to serve on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia,” the White House announced Tuesday.
“I am pleased to nominate Mr. Qureshi to serve on the United States District Court bench,” Obama declared. “I am confident he will serve the American people with integrity and a steadfast commitment to justice.”
Does anyone doubt a long term “progressive” goal is an “inclusive” Supreme Court?
“Muslim-American groups are applauding President Barack Obama’s nomination of a Washington lawyer to serve in U.S. District Court — a move that could make him the first ever Muslim-American federal judge, according to advocates,” NBC News reported on the development. The story included approving statements from the Council on American-Islamic Relations and Muslim Advocates.
Some will no doubt express concern over the Pakistani-born lawyer’s religion, and that’s not to say it’s not a factor that shouldn’t be vetted. It’s certainly not something to ignore out of pressured political correctness. To those who say what a nominee strongly believes shouldn’t matter, such attitudes typically come from secular viewpoints, or from those who haven’t thought things through completely and with consistency. Or from those with an agenda.
Case in point, a nominee with strong religious convictions against the death penalty would be hard-pressed to fairly decide on capital cases, and ascertaining whether that would create a conflict would be warranted. And if you really believe religion has no bearing on qualifications (or desirability), do you also think someone lunatic enough to identify as a Satanist has the judgment to be trusted with power over the lives and freedoms of others?
CAIR had previously proclaimed “No Religious Test” is needed for the Presidency, that Includes Islam.” In the interests of establishing consistency, will they also agree with that statement if the word “Satanism” is substituted?
Still, they do have a point, and it’s a reality those who have pledged an oath to the Constitution cannot just disregard. I’m referring to the First Amendment Establishment Clause, and the Article VI prohibition on religious tests. And while some contend Islam is not a religion but a doctrine of totalitarianism, that argument is unlikely to get any traction in the political arena or in the courts.
We’re left with a for-the-most-part-gutless Republican Senate — no doubt feeling pressure to publicly demonstrate its “inclusiveness” and “tolerance” as a way to defray criticism for the stalled SCOTUS nomination of Merrick Garland. As GOP leadership has already gone on record agreeing with CAIR on Muslims being in power, effort would better be spent in determining where Qureshi stands on the Founders’ view of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Naturally, those concerned with the right to keep and bear arms will want to know if Qureshi believes the Second Amendment articulates an individual right, if cases coming before him should be considered under strict scrutiny, and if the legal concept “in common use at the time,” at a minimum, applies to weaponry carried by infantry soldiers for battlefield use, in addition to those commonly used for self-defense and sport.
Don’t expect answers on those questions to be forthcoming. Don’t even expect them to be asked by politicians gun owners and conservatives helped put in power.
What’s left? How else can we figure out where an (intentional) enigma stands on issues affecting future legal protections of liberty? Especially when noting that, thanks to Democrat maneuverings and Republican complicity, a “progressive” majority now exists in 70%of U.S. appeals court appointments.
What you can make book on — Obama is not going to nominate anyone he doesn’t think is going to advance his agenda. And he’s relying on Republicans afraid of bigotry charges being cowed (in addition to the ones he knows he can count on) to get his way.
So what do we know about Qureshi? He’s a partner in Latham & Watkins, a DC-based insider/globalist law firm. What do we know about them? In 2012, 71% of their political contributions went to Democrats. They do pro bono work for Syrian refugees and they proudly display awards for LGBT inclusiveness. Assessing the culture as “progressive,” with all that implies for “conservative” sympathies, is hardly a stretch.
It’s also interesting to note how many appointments to key administration posts Obama seems to have made from Latham & Watkins (and that’s something I intend to follow up on, because it may prove key). One of special interest is White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler. She was the administration lawyer who blocked the House Oversight and Senate Judiciary Committees from interviewing former National Security Council Director of North American Affairs Kevin O’Reilly, a story with a recent development I talked about here.
Small world. Or as George Carlin observed [NSFW] “It’s a big club and you ain’t in it.”
But Qureshi is. And that makes his professional and personal relationships and loyalties another factor to be thoroughly vetted, just as they should be for every nominee.
The question is: Will Senate Republicans do a thorough job?
Bottom line, Obama’s going to put a key player in a key position on a key court, and unless someone can come up with a politically non-toxic reason why Qureshi should not be confirmed (and don’t look to the cheerleader media to actually investigate), he’ll breeze through.
Update: KrisAnne Hall shares some important thoughts for our consideration.
9/11 Update: Here’s my follow-up article. For those who want to block this, Qureshi’s insider connections may hold the key for something the Senate has the belly for.