Any diehard footballs fans out there who love nothing better than sitting around on Sunday with a few friends and watching a game? Well, if that describes you, let me ask you a question: how much attention do you pay to referees? If you’re like the average fan, you may complain about a bad call here or there, but that’s about the extent of it. Certainly most fans don’t know the names of the refs or get concerned about who the league appoints to work a certain game.
But, let’s consider a different scenario: Let’s say you’re an Oakland Raiders fan and they’re playing the Carolina Panthers. The Raiders are up by 3 with thirty-five seconds to go in the 4th quarter and they’ve got the Panthers pinned on their own 15 yard line. The Panthers hike the ball and the quarterback uncorks a bomb to a receiver who somehow has gotten 1 on 1 deep down the field. But then, the Raiders get a lucky break! The Panthers’ receiver trips and falls & the Raider cornerback intercepts the ball and runs it all the way back for a touchdown which gives the Raiders a 10 point lead! You think the game is as good as over…but then something funny happens. One of the refs calls “No Tripsies” and says that if the Panther receiver wouldn’t have fallen down, he would have caught the ball and ran it in for a touchdown. The ref then waves off the Raider touchdown and awards 7 points to the Panthers! That leads to the Raiders losing the game.
What would your reaction be? You’d be outraged and who could blame you? After all, there’s not a rule called “No Tripsies,” so how can a referee call that on the field and cost your team the game? So all week, you, your buddies, & the local sports shows complain about the rotten call. But, there’s always next week, right?
So, in next week’s game, the score’s tied 3-3 going into the second half. Then, right before the third quarter starts, the ref pulls both coaches over and tells them that the score is lower than it should be in his opinion. Therefore, in order to make sure more points are scored in the 2nd half, both teams are required to pass on every down. Both coaches complain, but the ref says that if either team runs the ball even once, he’ll declare the game a forfeit. So, the Raiders pass on every down, throw four interceptions, and lose the game 31-10.
Again, you’re steamed and with good cause. Since when do the refs tell the coaches what type of plays to call? The whole thing is just ridiculous! Who do these refs think they are?
Now, we’re up to Week Three and at the start of the game, the ref pulls the Raider coach aside and tells him that the starting QB stunk it up last week, so the coach has to bench him and put the 2nd stringer in the line-up. The result? Raiders lose 24-7 as the back-up QB fumbles twice, throws three interceptions, and only completes 40% of his passes.
At this point, the Raiders management goes ballistic, but they’re told that these referees are appointed for life and that if the refs simply decide to change or ignore the rules of the game, there’s nothing that the league can do.
If this was what the NFL was like, refs would become an enormous issue.
The reason all of this is important is that the situation that was described above is what is happening with our judiciary.
Federal judges are in essence referees. Their job is not to write legislation or to find new “rights” in the Constitution that have somehow passed unnoticed for over 200 years, it’s to interpret and enforce the rules laid down in the Constitution and by legislators. If federal judges actually did this, there would be as little controversy over them today as there is over referees in the NFL.
The problem we have is that there are a lot of liberals who want judges to throw out the rulebook. Why, you ask? Well, look to the 2nd example given above. If your team has a phenomenal passing game, but a terrible run defense and a third rate running back, a ref who says you have to pass all the time helps you.
In the case of liberals, their ideas are too radical and too out-of-step with America to get passed in Washington. So for them, judges are a way of getting around the system and implementing the policies that they want without having to get the approval of the American people.
Conservatives don’t agree with that philosophy. We think judges should “call it right down the middle” and stop making decisions that should be made on Capitol Hill or in State Legislatures. That’s why we believe in appointing judges who believe it’s wrong to legislate from the bench.
Soon, you’re going to see Republicans implement something called “the nuclear option.” The nuclear option is a change in the rules of the Senate that will keep the Democrats from unconstitutionally filibustering judges, which prevents judges from getting a vote on the floor of the Senate.
That’s a tactic that the Democrats first started regularly using in 2003 (To be fair, there is one other instance of this on the record. In 1968, the nomination of Abe Fortas to the Supreme Court was withdrawn after what most — but not all — people consider to have been a filibuster by Republicans, although he may not have had the 50 votes he needed on the Senate floor to be confirmed.) After the Senate Democrats are prevented from unconstitutionally blocking judges who want to “play by the rules,” it’s expected that they’re going to “go nuclear” and refuse to allow the Senate to continue to work on the people’s business.
When that day comes, everyone should be aware of exactly what’s going on and why it’s happening. The Democrats want judges who are going to make up the rules as they go along and they’re going to throw a public fit if the Constitution isn’t ignored so they can have their way. We Americans wouldn’t ever tolerate that sort of attitude in professional football and we should not tolerate it in Congress. If the Democrats throw a temper tantrum in the Senate because they have to go by the rules, the American people should punish them for it at the ballot box in 2006.