U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa recently launched her re-election campaign. She is running on her slogan “Make ’Em Squeal,” meaning that she wants to go back and take on the Washington machine for Iowans.
Ernst has been stellar when it comes to supporting President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees, a very important conservative accomplishment that matters to Iowa voters. Federal judges have the critical role of keeping in check the other branches when they overstep their powers, such as when unelected federal bureaucrats at the EPA, IRS, or some other alphabet-soup federal agency unfairly target Iowa farmers and other hardworking Iowans. She has stood up to the Washington machine and its Democrat allies who have stooped to new lows, attempting to obstruct and delay virtually all of Trump’s nominees.
Ernst joined the Senate Judiciary Committee this Congress, where she plays a pivotal role in vetting and confirming judicial nominees. She joins Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the recent chairman who led the charge to confirm 85 new federal judges appointed during Trump’s first two years in office, including Justice Gorsuch, Justice Kavanaugh, a record 36 circuit judges, and 47 district judges. Grassley also held the hearings and did the other heavy lifting to ready for confirmation votes 50 more judicial nominees.
This year, the committee has fired on all cylinders — building upon Grassley’s historic success. As of June 26, the Senate has confirmed 40 more of Trump’s judicial nominees, including five more circuit judges (41 total), 33 more district judges (80 total), and two other judges. There are 40 judicial nominees pending confirmation votes on the Senate floor, following action by Ernst and the rest of the Senate Judiciary Committee, with 15 more awaiting action by the committee.
By the end of Trump’s first term in 2021, we could see at least 200 new federal judges appointed by him. Ernst has played a critical role in the president’s historic and record-breaking success on judicial nominees.
Ernst was rock-solid during Kavanaugh’s contentious confirmation. She stuck by then-Senate Judiciary Chairman Grassley, standing up to the Democrats’ smear campaign and the left-wing mob. Here is what she said during an October 2018 interview with the Daily Signal: “He is an incredible jurist. We know that from his many, many opinions, his writings through the past number of years. He has served his country admirably. He served here in the D.C. Circuit Court. We know that he is well qualified. He’s more than well qualified to serve on the United States Supreme Court. I do believe that there has been some trauma that Dr. Ford has experienced in her past, but it cannot be corroborated or tied to Brett Kavanaugh, so we have to look at the facts as presented, and the facts as presented is that there is no connection between the two.”
Trump and his Republican allies in the Senate are winning. The Democrats are now desperately trying to catch-up. The 24 Democrat presidential wannabes rolling through Iowa are pushing unconstitutional or otherwise radical schemes when it comes to our federal courts. Many of them are seriously contemplating resurrecting long-ago discarded radical plans to pack the Supreme Court with left-wing justices, unconstitutional term limits on justices, and even targeting Kavanaugh for teaching law students, investigations, and even impeachment. This is nothing short of a full-on assault on the independence of our judiciary.
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Imagine having a Democrat president, with a Senate controlled by Democrats. They would appoint liberal-activist judges, who think their job is to make up the law instead of following it. A group called the Alliance for Justice recently announced its radical, left-wing advisory board that will help the next Democrat president pick judges. They refuse to share with Americans their secret list of potential liberal-activist judges. Why are they afraid to share their list with the American public? It is simple: it would scare the heck out of voters.
With Ernst, Iowans will always have a senator who respects the rule of law and the proper role of judges, about which Iowans care deeply.
• Mike Davis is the founder and president of the Article III Project and is the former chief counsel for nominations to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa. Davis is a native of Iowa.