(TeaParty.org) – When President Trump was running for president, he did so with a public list of potential SCOTUS picks were he to secure his place in the White House.
Which he did.
So why are current contenders for the Democratic nomination to run against Trump in 2020 keeping their own lists secret?
Well, we’re not the only ones wondering.
Real Clear Politics reports:
With Democrats in Miami for two days of debates this week, the Judicial Crisis Network, a leading center-right group that focuses on judges, has launched a $1.1 million national ad campaign — television and digital — calling on former Vice President Joe Biden and his fellow candidates to reveal their lists of potential court picks.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump released a list of possible Supreme Court nominees he would choose from, if elected. The move was unprecedented but also paid off. It was widely credited with helping reassure wary Republicans about the kind of administration Trump would run. Election Day polls also showed that one out of every five voters said the makeup of the Supreme Court was their top issue, and Trump won 57% of those voters.
“President Trump was open and honest with the American people and has kept his promise,” Carrie Severino, JCN’s chief counsel and policy director, said in a statement announcing the ad campaign. “He released his list of judges but Joe Biden and other Democrats running for president have yet to reveal theirs.”
One of the ads, which will run on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News, recalls the fierce partisan firestorm over Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process last fall.
“The radical left smeared Judge Kavanaugh,” the ad states, before quoting Trump saying, “They tried to ruin his life, all in the pursuit of political domination and control.”
“Their coordinated attacks failed. Now the same radicals want to pack the court,” the ad states. “They’ve been keeping a secret list of judges that they won’t show anyone.”
“Keeping America in the dark. Running for president with a secret list of court picks,” the ad continues. “What are they hiding? Tell Joe Biden: ‘Trump released his list. Why won’t you?’”
Biden’s lack of transparency on this issue is certainly concerning, as he has a long history and in-depth personal knowledge of the judicial confirmation process.
After all, the ancient Biden served as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the infamous battle over Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas’ confirmation, as well as the failed confirmation hearing that nixed Robert Bork’s nomination to the high court.
Why are the Democrats keeping their own list secret? Don’t the American people have a right to know who they intend to put on the court if they end up in the White House? How can anyone vote for a candidate who will keep such an important detail of their prospective presidency so close to their chest?
Real Clear Politics continues:
Democrats are counting on scores of lower-court openings as senior judges appointed by Presidents Obama, Clinton and Carter wait out the Trump administration before they retire if a Democrat wins the presidency.
“We’ve launched #buildingthebench to make sure the next president won’t lose a minute when it comes to fixing the damage the Trump administration has done to our courts,” AFJ tweeted Thursday. AFJ is a 40-year-old organization that has played an instrumental role in every high-profile judicial battle since it successfully helped derail the nomination of Bork in 1987.
But unlike Trump’s transparent 2016 move, the AFJ and the other groups involved are keeping their lists of judges under wraps, and no Democratic presidential campaign is willing to say it would use the lists to select nominees.
RealClearPolitics reached out to a dozen of these campaigns to ask whether they would commit to selecting appointees from the Building the Bench roster. The campaigns of the top contenders in the field — Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand and Julian Castro — did not respond to repeated inquiries.