The Judicial Confirmation Network, which has been a significant conservative voice in recent Supreme Court confirmation battles, is expanding its mission and adding urgency to its name: from now on, you can call it the Judicial Crisis Network. It will take on state as well as federal judicial battles and the Department of Justice, and issues relating to limited government, a fair judiciary and the rule of law. It is keeping the same Web site.
The group launched in December 2004 and was a vocal advocate for Bush high court nominees John Roberts Jr. and Samuel Alito Jr., and a critic of Obama nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Its legal counsel Wendy Long was a frequent commentator on the confirmation debates. But the mission now is bigger.
"Just over a year into the new Administration and it has become abundantly clear that defenders of liberty and justice in America have an enormous task at hand," said executive director Gary Marx in announcing the change. "In fact, we face a crisis potentially more threatening than even the current economic crisis."
In an interview Thursday Marx said, "The crisis of judicial activism has spread" to state courts, and he sees getting involved in state supreme court races with issue advocacy. He also voiced concern about the use of foreign law in interpreting domestic statutes and the Constitution. "We continue to see radical legal and legislative threats coming from the Department of Justice and elsewhere," he said. Marx also expects to continue to take an active role in the debate over any future Supreme Court nominees.
As part of its ramped-up presence, Marx said the group is moving its offices from Manassas, Va. to 2nd Street N.E., directly behind the Supreme Court and a few doors down from Jay Sekulow's American Center for Law and Justice. Announcement of staff changes and expansion will come soon, Marx said.
The group's new mission statement also offers a taste of the issues it will monitor: "We support legislative and legal efforts which oppose attempts to undermine the rule of law; unconstitutionally expand the power of government; politicize the enforcement of the law; threaten American sovereignty; supplant American law with foreign or international law; or bias the legal system on behalf of politically favored groups or individuals."