In Two-Fer: Electing a President and a Supreme Court, Constitutional Law Expert Clint Bolick Reminds Voters to Consider Appointment of Supreme Court and Federal Judges in 2012 Presidential Election
STANFORD—Hoover Institution Press released Two-Fer: Electing a President and a Supreme Court by Hoover research fellow and constitutional law expert Clint Bolick. In Two-Fer, Bolick importantly points out that, during a presidential campaign and election, judicial selection is usually considered a minor issue and given too little attention by the American public and the media. The recent argument over Obamacare, however, has brought into sharp focus the importance—and pointed internal division—of the US Supreme Court. In this book, Bolick argues that appointing (a) Supreme Court justice(s) is a president’s most important and enduring legacy because lifetime tenure for federal court judges far outlasts the president who appointed them. Bolick explains how the appointment of justices—and the combination of those appointed justices—can change and shape the course of history and the future. Bolick also makes the case that, although judges operate in relative obscurity, every day they make decisions that affect issues such as health care, religion, speech, property, business, education, and civil rights.
“In his fascinating book, Two-Fer: Electing a President and a Supreme Court, Clint Bolick has provided an insightful look at the federal judiciary and particularly the Supreme Court,” Edwin Meese III, former US attorney general (1985–88) and Hoover Institution fellow said. “He illustrates the critical nature of the electoral choice of the next president and the impact it could have on the preservation of the Constitution and the protection of the people’s liberty.”
In Two-Fer, Bolick provides historical context by assessing the Supreme Court’s record. He finds that over the past two decades, the Supreme Court has lived up to its intended role of curbing government power and protecting individual rights. He also writes that the next president “has the potential to heavily influence the direction of the Court,” particularly because there are currently two conservative justices and two liberal justices who are approaching retirement age. He maintains that if a Democratic president has the opportunity to replace one or two conservative justices, it will sharply tilt the Court to the left and probably be impossible to change that balance for twenty or thirty years. Likewise, if a Republican president gets to replace one or two liberal justices, it could reinforce the Court’s current conservative direction for another generation. Bolick points out that Supreme Court nominations increasingly reflect a president’s ideological stance and that when it comes to the differences in the ways that Republicans and Democrats interpret the Constitution, this can make a big difference in determining which of our rights are preserved or destroyed.
In addition to his fellowship at the Hoover Institution, Clint Bolick serves as the director of the Goldwater Institute Center for Constitutional Litigation in Phoenix. Bolick has argued and won significant cases in both state and federal courts, winning school choice victories in the supreme courts of Wisconsin, Ohio, and Arizona, as well as in Zelman v. Simmons-Harris before the Supreme Court of the United States. In 2009, Legal Times named Bolick one of the “90 greatest Washington lawyers of the past 30 years.” He is also the author of several books, most recently Death Grip: Loosening the Law’s Stranglehold over Economic Liberty (Hoover Institution Press, 2011).
For more information on Two-Fer, visit HooverPress.org.