Fox News isn’t even including Judge Bridget Shelton Bade’s photograph in their frequent on-air lineups of the supposed frontrunners to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. That’s a terrible oversight, because Judge Bade is not only in the running and rapidly amassing support, she is the best choice President Trump could make.
This pick is about more than simply getting one of the many strong options from President Trump’s shortlist on the Court. There is, notably, a powerful current of conservative enthusiasm behind Judge Amy Coney Barrett. As we’ve written here at Revolver, Judge Barrett is an extraordinary woman and exemplary conservative jurist. She would make a great Supreme Court Justice, but she is simply not the ideal nominee for this political moment. Amy Coney Barrett may appear to promise the shock we all know the system deserves, but her nomination risks reframing the precarious Trump reelection effort from a winning battle over law and order, immigration, and left-wing political violence to a messy and poorly timed slog through well-worn battles that would be better and more effectively fought after Trump wins re-election.
Roe v. Wade was incorrectly decided on a foundation of bogus constitutional principles invented practically from whole cloth to justify profound moral and social ills. Convincing Americans, 70 percent of whom oppose overturning Roe, of that is a just and admirable goal. Revolver News intends to play an active role in this important effort. It’s just not one we can accomplish in seven weeks as we also try to get a president reelected and a justice confirmed to the Supreme Court. That is a fight Democrats desperately want to play out as millions of early voters go to the polls and one we want to have two years from now in the middle of Trump’s second term.
In Bridget Bade, President Trump has the opportunity to nominate a true daughter of the key swing state of Arizona, born, raised and educated in the Grand Canyon State and embodying its traditional Southwestern values of law, order, liberty, and sovereignty on the border. Not only does that fit perfectly with the current state of the campaign, it significantly lightens the lift of getting the Supreme Court vacancy filled quickly. The same Senate we have now already confirmed Bade to her current seat on the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by a vote of 78-21 — more Democrat votes for than against — and courted almost none of the controversy Barrett and others on the shortlist did in their confirmations.
Here’s the kicker: Judge Bade is not a compromise choice. She’s not some softie “establishment GOP type” liable to go the way of David Souter or John Paul Stevens after a few trips to opera at the Kennedy Center. While extraordinarily well qualified — cum laude from Arizona State Law, clerk for eminent Reagan-appointed Judge Edith Jones of the Fifth Circuit, DOJ Honors during Bill Barr’s first stint as Attorney General, and elected member of the prestigious American Law Institute — she’s no ivory tower academic. Bade is not another “conservative legal movement” darling, haunting the pages of law reviews with elegant solutions to novel questions of administrative law. She’s not even a member of the Federalist Society.
What Judge Bade is is nothing but the genuine article: a no-nonsense, read-it-how-its-written, law and order jurist in the proudest tradition of the old Southwest, and in the very same spirit of President Trump’s America First campaign.
You don’t have to take our word for it. Bade’s solidness is written indelibly in her record from the earliest days of her career.
One would expect a former federal prosecutor in Arizona to be tough on criminals, and Bade is. In her short time on the Ninth Circuit, she wrote a strong opinion refusing to expand the already out-of-control Miranda Rights doctrine and dissented from a decision that left in place restrictions on searching for child pornography at border crossings.
You’re worried about the Second Amendment? Don’t be. Bade cut her teeth in the chambers of the Honorable Edith Jones, a gun rights stalwart who was finding federal full-auto bans unconstitutional when District of Columbia v. Heller wasn’t even a twinkle in Justice Scalia’s eye. It also bears mentioning that, while she’s never ruled in an abortion case, there is nothing in Bade’s record that would suggest she’s soft on life issues.
It is on immigration, the defining issue of the Trump era, that Bade truly sets herself out from the pack. When she was still an assistant United States attorney, Bade won a commendation from the U.S. Border Patrol after she successfully defended them from two massive lawsuits from illegal border crossers who crashed their cars while trying to escape pursuing agents.
In her year and half as an appellate judge, she’s outdone not only herself, but virtually everyone on the federal bench, and she’s done it in the most liberal circuit in the country. On three separate occasions, Bade’s lone dissent has stood for enforcing immigration laws as written and refused to go along with her colleagues on the Ninth Circuit as they caved to the open borders lawfare designed to undermine them. In Vo v. Barr, Bade would have forbidden failed asylum seekers from appealing their orders of removal with claims of sexual abuse they didn’t even mention before they lost their cases in the immigration courts. In Gonzalez v. ICE, Judge Bade sought to stop the ACLU and other open borders groups from attacking ICE’s database for issuing “detainer” orders to keep illegal aliens arrested for other crimes in jail until they can be taken into ICE custody.
Bade’s most important immigration dissent, however, came in Padilla v. ICE. From the moment President Trump took office, liberal lower court judges have thrown a wrench in almost every effect he has taken to get America’s immigration system under control, frequently issuing “nationwide injunctions” that block Trump policies everywhere in the country without even conducting a trial. Open borders groups know they only need to find one sympathetic judge and they can hold up desperately needed measures for years, often forcing the government to let in thousands of illegal aliens while the cases drag on. Padilla was exactly one such case. Groups like the “Northwest Immigrant Rights Project” convinced a single district court judge to force every immigration facility in the country to grant bail hearings for asylum seekers within seven days, effectively re-instituting “catch and release” by judicial fiat. Judge Bade went against the two other judges on her appellate panel and forcefully argued that the plain language of the statute in question prohibited nationwide injunctions like this.
With a record like this, it’s no wonder Judge Bade is quickly picking up steam among America First activists, but there is some opposition on the right. One line of argument we’ve seen uses Bade’s very confirmability against her. “Anyone who could get half the Senate Democrats to vote for her,” the argument goes, “can’t be trusted.”
In Judge Bade’s case, the argument doesn’t hold up. She has all the right enemies. The Alliance for Justice, the liberal legal group that’s been “Borking” strong conservative nominees since Robert Bork, has been skeptical of Bade since day one and has kicked their attacks into overdrive since Bade joined to the SCOTUS Shortlist. Even “People for the American Way,” the Soros-funded front group behind the dox site “Right Wing Watch,” went out of their way to post a hit piece about Bade on their blog last year.
The point is not that selecting Judge Bade will stop the Democrats from getting ugly, going low, and doing everything in their power to vote down Trump’s third Supreme Court pick. Of course they’re going to do that, whoever the nominee is. The point is that picking Bade may prevent Democrats from simultaneously kicking off a cultural holy war that will energize their base at a time when their nominee couldn’t excite a gorilla out of a wet paper bag, draw moderate pro-choice white woman to their side, add nothing to the already sky-high enthusiasm among social conservatives, and maybe cost President Trump the election.
Right now, this election is about riots, lawlessness on the border and in our cities, and Democratic complacency in the face of criminality. That’s an election we can win among conservatives, moderates, white women, Hispanics — everyone. Nominating Judge Bridget Shelton Bade is the perfect vehicle to keep it that way while getting a rock-solid justice on the Supreme Court for decades to come.
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