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Outcome Of The Supreme Court Justice Nominee Hearing With Keisha Russell – Keisha Russell joins us to discuss the Supreme Court Justice nominee hearing, and her testimony there. How will this affect votes and change the makeup of the court?  Why are we going through this process now? Is there an agenda behind it? Who is the new nominee? Tune in for the answers to these questions and more today!

Air Date: 04/04/2022

Guest: Keisha Russell

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

 

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. It’s WallBuilders Live. We are taking on the hot topics of the day from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. Thank you for joining us today.

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Alright, David, and Tim, unless folks who are living under a rock or just frankly, hate watching hearings from Washington, DC, they probably know there was a hearing for a Supreme Court nomination from the President of the United States. This is to fill the vacancy that will occur as Stephen Breyer steps off the court. And so a lot of people have been talking about a lot of the things that were said. So even if you didn’t watch any of the hearings, you probably saw clips in your social media feed. And one of our friends, Keisha Russell over at First Liberty also testified at those hearings. So she’ll be with us here in a little while.

But guys, I guess, let me first ask you, because a lot of people comment on whether or not this changes the makeup of the court. It’s still three left wing votes if this lady gets approved. But it does lower the age, right. It’s someone that will be there for a long time. And she’s probably even to the left of where Breyer was. So it does change the makeup. It doesn’t necessarily change the votes right now today. How do you guys see it?

Tim:

Well, let me ask, I think probably a fundamental question before we even dive into that. Because I think there’s a lot of people out there recognizing okay, there’s about to be an opening. But Justice Breyer still on the court, so why are you going through the process? Or why are we in our nation now going through the process of confirming a nominee when there is not yet even an opening? Is that maybe because President Biden wants to get ahead of maybe the midterm election where things could change? Like it is this…

David:

It’s because of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, very simple.

Tim:

What does that mean?

David:

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the liberal who, instead of getting off the court when liberals in office, she got off the court when Donald Trump was in office. He put a justice on and it shifted the balance of power significantly.

Tim:

Right. But what we’re saying is, I mean, President Biden is president for another couple of years presumably. And in the midst of that, and by the way, I say, presumably not because we have any anticipation something happening to him, but with health, right, it’s possible that maybe he steps down, and then you have Kamala Harris, who would presumably then be the president. Anyway, all that to be said, even with the nominees that President Trump had, he had those nominees once there was a vacancy on the court, not while those justices were still sitting on the court. So why are we going through this process when there’s not officially an opening yet?

David:

That’s a good question. Actually, I was thinking in terms of the balance of power, they want to preserve it. But why this year, instead of two years now? Great question.

Rick:

Or even why now instead of next month or at the end, when he’s actually resigned? I don’t know the answer to that. Have we normally done hearings, while the seat is still occupied or do they normally wait to have the hearings until that person literally resigns and now you start the nomination process? Very interesting question.

Tim:

Right. And this is the reason I bring it up because you’re talking only a couple of months. Usually, it’s the summer when the US Supreme Court finishes their session. And so now you’re talking well, wait a few months, and then when you waited a few months, then there’s the actual opening. And so I do feel like this is a question worth exploring.

Now with that being said, I do recognize that what’s being done now is not unconstitutional in the sense of you can nominate somebody early, they can be approved even there’s no opening. So I recognize you can do that. But it does make me wonder if this is maybe a political move more so than the reality of opening on the court. Because even if you look at Breyers resignation, the White House announced his resignation before he did.

So it does seem like there’s a lot of game playing, a lot of politics in the midst of this. And it does make me wonder because there’s an upcoming midterm election and potentially some of these individuals will be out campaigning and maybe they won’t be around. Are they worried about not having the votes? It just makes me curious why it’s happening now and not in a few months.

David:

I can think of two answers to that question. One is they’re looking really bad in the midterms. And so this would be throwing red meat to your base, trying to get your base back out, because if he cannot get his base out, he is mopped in the midterms at this point. Now, anything can happen between now and November. That’s several months off. But based on polling right now, they need something to energize their base. I think the last polling I saw was 58% of all Americans, what that means Democrats too cannot name a single thing Biden has done good since he’s been elected.

Tim:

And by the way, I think is that same number that did not think he was fit for office any longer. They wanted him to have a cognitive test to see if he’s even still around. Okay, so one reason could be to amp up the base.

David:

The other one, if I was not being sinister with motives, I would say, well, the court session starts like the first day of October. So September 30th is really when you got to be ready and going. And you’re only looking for five months from now to then. So by the time you put a staff together, you get familiar with protocol, you do what you can to start learning the other justices. Maybe that’s it because that gives you four to five months to get things in order to be ready to hit the ground running. That’s a non-sinister motive. I don’t know if that one holds up.

Tim:

Well, and this is just process too. And I think, as we identified, this is something that to have a nomination, to have a confirmation hearing prior to there being an opening. It’s not unconstitutional. They’re not violating the Constitution to do this. It just makes me wonder if there’s maybe political motivation in the midst of this.

Now with that being said, with the potential names that Biden dropped, and I think we’ve also highlighted this in previous programs, I know we’ve talked a lot about it, whether it was on this program or in our speeches we give around the nation or whatever the case might have been, and we’ve highlighted the fact that anytime you start off your nominating process, what President Biden did, and say, I will only pick a woman of color, what he did with his Vice President, well, what that already tells you about, for example, Kamala Harris, is that she wasn’t chosen because she was the most qualified, she wasn’t chosen because she’s the most talented, she wasn’t chosen because she’s the most eloquent because she’s a great leader or a good politician; she was chosen because she was a black woman.

And that’s not really the best qualifications you’re looking for somebody to be a leader in the nation. Now, that doesn’t mean that there are not other qualities and characteristics as well. But when you identify that as your measuring standard that you are using, that’s already kind of weird. Well, that’s what he said with this justice. And we already know from the confirmation hearing where several senators had a chance to ask questions, there’s been several things that have been raised that are some significant question marks, not the least of which, with this Judge who presumably will be a Justice in the near future, is the fact that she’d seems to be very soft on individuals who are child porn criminals, which like the exploitation of minors in a sexual fashion.

But there’s some major problems that she’s not very hard on these issues and actually has come out saying that she thinks the laws are outdated and should be changed and they shouldn’t have to face as significant jail time. There’s a lot of issues. And this is just one of the glaring obvious issues, certainly not the only ones. However, we have a lot of friends that deal on this spectrum and we have some very good friends even in the local area very close to us with First Liberty and Kelly Shackleford, many people may know as the founder of First Liberty. But one of their incredible young attorneys is a lady named Keisha Russell. And she actually had the chance, I believe, to testify in front of the Senate for this confirmation hearing. And so we got to be really great to have her on the program to maybe shed some more light on the process and maybe even this nominee.

Rick:

Alright, we’re going to take a quick break, when we come back Keisha Russell is with us. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

AMERICAN HISTORY

This is Tim Barton from Wallbuilders with another moment from American history. Founding Fathers John Adams and Thomas Jefferson originally worked closely together, but later became ardent opponents. This troubled Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration, who knew both of them very well.

In the Bible, 2 Corinthians 5:18 tells us that God has given each of us the ministry of reconciliation. Dr. Rush believed this and set out to bring the two back together. It took a while but Adams and Jefferson once again became close friends. And looking back on his role in helping bring about this reconciliation, Dr. Rush stated “It will give me pleasure as long as I live to reflect that I have been in any degree instrumental and effectiveness for union of two souls destined to be dear to each other and motivated with the same dispositions to serve their country though in different ways.”

For more information about Dr. Benjamin Rush and his other remarkable achievements, go to wallbuilders.com

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Keisha Russell is back with us from First Liberty Institute. They do great work and you should be on their website, learning more donating, getting on their email list, finding ways to support them because they’re involved in all kinds of very important fights out there. Firstliberty.org, Keisha, thanks for coming back on with us.

Keisha:

Absolutely. My pleasure.

Rick:

Alright. So you had a chance to testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee on the confirmation hearing of Ketanji Brown Jackson. How did it go? What do you think? Where is this thing going?

Keisha:

Well, you know, I think the testimony went well. I was, I think, able to address my points more broadly through some of the questioning from some of the senators. And so overall, I think that went well. There was obviously some progressive cultural blowback from me having testified against her nomination. But ultimately, for First Liberty, and personally, I believe that everything we said was truth. And ultimately, that is my goal is to bring truth to the culture.

Rick:

As it should be for the Senate as well, right?

Keisha:

Yeah, absolutely.

Rick:

I would hope we would want Justices that that’s their goal as well for seeking truth. And it’s not all about party and all of those things and we’re all far better off. What’s the 32nd message that you give to people when you just run into them in the hallway or whatever about why you think she would be a good Justice or not a good Justice?

Keisha:

Well, I would say I don’t think she would be a good Justice because I don’t think her judicial philosophy is grounded in the truth of the American Constitution and the rule of law. I think she is an activist and does so from the bench. And that is from my firm combing through her opinions, and ensuring that everything we’re saying about her is grounded in facts and not opinions only.

Rick:

Yeah, I was surprised there was so little talk about her rulings that essentially ignore things like positive exception, and she’s basically said the Constitution is not really what she makes her decisions based on, it’s based on Stare decisis all the time. So she bows at the feet of Stare decisis and whatever previous judges said, that’s going to hold, not the Constitution itself. And I wanted to hear more discussion about that. What’s her constitutional philosophy? What’s most important? Is it the supreme law of the land or the Judge is the supreme law of the land? There just wasn’t a lot of discussion about that.

Keisha:

Yeah, I mean, obviously, the Constitution is the bedrock of our legal system. And if you have a Judge that thinks that it’s optional, you’re going to end up with activism. I mean, that’s just the bottom line. And so, Stare decisis, obviously is important because you want precedent that reinforces the constitutional principles that we have, right? So Constitution, on its own is not going to address every fact pattern. And the precedent helps us better interpret the Constitution. But there are times when people will ignore the basic principles of the Constitution because they are in line with the culture and many times the culture is not going to be in line with the Constitution, and that’s when it’s most important to have a Justice that is grounded in that fact that those truths of the Constitution.

Rick:

Yeah, not just the culture, but the courts sometimes, it seems like Clarence Thomas has kind of been on a mission for the last five or six years to reduce the importance of Stare decisis. As you said, it’s important not to get rid of it, but to stop making that more important than the Constitution itself. And clearly for her, at least what we’ve seen in her actions with their decisions, like you were saying, it’s not going to be the Constitution it’s going to be whatever a previous Judge says, which means now if she ends up on the highest court, that then it will be her word, not the Constitution itself. You said, you got blowback, why did you get blowback for your testimony?

Keisha:

Well, a lot of it was just I think, mostly based on sort of the racial stereotype there that because I’m black, I should not be opposing a woman who is black and is going to be on the Supreme Court. But her race is just one aspect of who she is. And I shouldn’t have to ground my opinion in who she is as a justice based on her race. I think that does an injustice to her and to me as a person. And frankly, I think it proves that what I said about CRT is problematic in the first place, that the emphasis on race is not going to cure any of the societal problems that we have related to America’s history. So it was nasty, some of it was, but it all the more proves my point frankly.

Rick:

It does, because when CRT is in the mix, that becomes the focus; everything is through the lens of race, which is the worst place we could go. I was curious if you thought about whether or not Marsha Blackburn, our friend there did a great job of can you define a woman? I wish she had followed it up with can you define race? Can you define black or white? If you can’t define a woman, how are you going to define a particular race? I mean, what are you hearing from? For me, that’s kind of become the joke from the hearing was that she couldn’t define a woman because she’s not a biologist, do you think that had any impact on the senators?

Keisha:

Well, let me tell you that to believe that a Harvard educated lawyer and judge can’t define a woman is just, I mean, that’s nonsensical. Obviously, she can define it. The point is that she doesn’t want to define it. Why? Because she’s telling you, and that resistance to define it, what her allegiance is, right? And obviously, she’s aligned with groups that does not want there to be a definition to that word. And to me that just revealed what’s going on with her and who supports her and who she supports by her refraining from defining that term, because we all know who you’re trying to please if you won’t say what a woman is.

Rick:

Yeah. And I mean, it does speak to character too, right? I mean, this wasn’t an honest answers basically, what you’re saying is, it’s not even an honest answer? She could have defined it. She wasn’t honest when she said I can’t define it.

Keisha:

That’s my position.

Rick:

Yeah. Well, crazy times, we’ll see what happens. I am so appreciate you guys at First Liberty. Please tell Kelly and the whole team, hello from our WallBuilders team and keep up the great work, Keisha.

Keisha:

Thanks so much.

Rick:

That’s Keisha Russell. Firstliberty.org is the website. Check it out today. Stay with us, we’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.

AMERICAN HISTORY

Hi, friends, this is Tim Barton of WallBuilders. This is a time when most Americans don’t know much about American history or even heroes of the faith. And I know oftentimes we, parents, we’re trying to find good content for our kids to read.

And if you remember back to the Bible, to the book of Hebrews, it has the faith Hall of Fame where they outline the leaders of faith that had gone before them. Well, this is something that as Americans, we really want to go back and outline some of these heroes, not just of American history, but heroes of Christianity in our faith as well.

I want to let you know about some biographical sketches we have available on our website. One is called The Courageous Leaders collection. And this collection includes people like Abigail Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Francis Scott Key, George Washington Carver, Susanna Wesley, even the Wright brothers. And there’s a second collection called Heroes of History. In this collection, you’ll read about people like Benjamin Franklin or Christopher Columbus, Daniel Boone, George Washington, Harriet Tubman; friends, the list goes on and on. This is a great collection for your young person to have and read and it’s a providential view of American and Christian history. This is available at www.wallbuilders.com. That’s www.wallbuilders.com.

Rick:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us and a very special thanks to Keisha Russell and the First Liberty, again, firstliberty.org to support them and what they do. We’re back with David and Tim now, and of course, guys, I mean, that’s a pretty momentous occasion for her to be able to testify at those hearings. And you can see why the Left definitely wouldn’t like it. She’s a conservative black female attorney that’s basically saying, you shouldn’t be putting this lady on the court just because she’s black and female.

David:

Yeah, but you know, it’s interesting that that hypocrisy, Tim was talking before Keisha was interview about the fact that from the very start said, hey, I want a black female on the court. And so they’ve limited it, and they defined it, and this is what’s important to them is a black female. Well, maybe not, because Keisha is a black female and she gets the cultural blowback. Because as she explained, if you’re black, you’re supposed to be on board with Jackson, and that’s just the way it is.

When she said that, I remembered an article, I just pulled it out. And it was a listing of who’s running for office at things like congressional level this year. If you go back two years ago, there were 27 individuals who ran for some type of higher office on the Republican side two years ago. This year, it’s 81. So you’re talking three times more. And guess what’s happened? The congressional black caucus has come out and said, well, if any of those blacks that are Republicans get elected, they’re not welcome in the Black Caucus.

Now wait a minute. I thought the Black Caucus was the Black Caucus. No, it’s the liberal progressive Black Caucus Democrats. And so if you’re a Republican black, you’re not welcome. And it is a race-based caucus. I mean, they are black. But now we find out they’re black progressive liberal Democrats. You’re not welcome. And that’s the situation Keisha found herself in.

She’s been profiled into if you’re black, you got to be liberal conservative Democrat, and you can’t speak out against those who are liberal conservative Democrats if you’re black. Yeah, you can. If you’ve got a brain and think on your own, and you see things differently, you don’t get put in the same box. And this is the problem with Democrats and liberals and progressives, they see everybody only in groups. They don’t see individuals. So I thought it’s significant that she got the kind of blowback and bless her heart, that’s not fun to go through. Nobody enjoys that.

But the other thing that really stood out to me was the talk about how her position, I’m going to support Starry decisis. Okay. Let me just start picking that apart. Which Starry decisis you’re going to check? Because I’ll point out, we’ve never had a court decision overturned Dred Scott. So are we going to say, well, I’m sticking with the Dred Scott? Well, no, that would be a stupid thing to do. But if you’re Starry decisis, that’s what you’re saying. And we’ve had three court decisions says America is a Christian nation. Is she going to uphold with that? Or she going to say, well, no, it’s a different time, I’m going to give you a different ruling? And all of our rulings up to now have upheld traditional gender. Is she going to stick with that?

So even the Starry decisis, I see that as completely disingenuous, is supposed to be a soundbite that makes you feel better, I’m not going to go in there and try to overturn things. I’m going to stick with what the precedent is. But that’s a silly answer if you know anything about precedents.

Tim:

Well, and one of the reasons it’s silly answer just to further go down this explanation is because if you look back historically, you’re mentioning precedent that would be in favor of the Constitution, that would be in favor of religious liberty or parental choice or prolife. There’s actually precedent that you could argue on both sides. So, this argument that she, as a Supreme Court Justice, would only follow precedent, well, you would only follow a precedent that agrees with your political philosophy is what you are indicating, not the precedent that maybe would not agree with your political philosophy.

Because some of these situations, the US Supreme Court had no precedent to make some of these rulings, or a federal judge had no precedent to make this ruling. And so you wouldn’t say, well, that actually is unconstitutional because there’s not good precedent for that.

This is part of what we’ve seen, Rick, you are one of the people who talked about this a lot was kind of the notion of a “Courtstitution”, where the court makes their own law, they have kind of usurped the legislative branches lawmaking ability and they just fabricate their own notion of what is right or wrong. And therefore, if you point to a federal Judge that just for the first time ever makes a decision, you go, well, hey, this federal judge gave us precedent, you can really create this notion of precedent in your own image, which the concern is that’s what is being referred to, instead of saying, well, let’s make sure we’re constitutional because then you have something that’s written in bedrock, a standard that is known that you can point to; there’s precedent on both sides.

So saying you’re going to follow precedent does not actually clarify your position. But even as Keisha identified, why would you not be able to identify what a woman is? Well, of course, you can identify what a woman is. You are a Harvard law, you’re a judge. Of course, you know what a woman is. But you don’t want to say something that will expose you or your side. And that’s part of what saying I will follow precedent does is it gives you a level of cover because you haven’t identified well, I’m only going to follow the woke precedent, I’m going to follow the precedent that disregards the Constitution, that disregards the legislature, that disregards parents in their choice, etc. It’s a method of cover using a linguistic kind of redirect. However, if you pay attention, you recognize it’s not really what is happening.

David:

Now, the other thing I’d point to going back to what Tim said in the opening was, she has this thing where well, maybe child pornographers and child predators aren’t that bad a thing. I’m going back to John Adams who said our Constitution is made only for a moral and a religious people. It’s wholly inadequate for the government of any other. When you have a Supreme Court justice who does not recognize basic morals and those morals do come from a Judeo Christian biblical viewpoint, and that’s why we think child predators are bad. That’s not necessarily a belief in Islam. But that is a belief and in the biblical world.

So if you don’t have that belief, you’ll rewrite the Constitution to whatever your morals are because you become your own god: I decide what’s right and wrong and I construct truth in my own image. But now you’re over an entire nation, 330 million and you’re trying to conform them all to your belief, this is really radical stuff when you start throwing out the underpinnings that have undergirded American constitutional law for 237 years and undergirded the nation for four centuries. I mean, this can get radical real fast.

Rikc:

Yeah. And the other problem as you mentioned earlier, just the double standard, the hypocrisy, the irony all thrown in together, these are the same people, especially Joe Biden himself that filibustered and stopped a black woman, Janice Rogers Brown from getting on the United States Supreme Court. So when they stopped someone, oh, it’s about the issues and where they stand, but when we stopped them, they blame us supposedly for being racist or sexist. I personally think you’re racist and sexist whenever you choose someone based on their race and their sex, rather than those being completely not a factor. It’s about your judicial philosophy and how good of a job you’re going to do.

Being led by principles, not by color of skin or any of those other things, that’s what makes the most judicious system and also allows for the system to thrive, right. If you have leaders that will make decisions based on that, then it creates a better system. That’s all part of the inputs. You know, if you want to know what the inputs are that will give you the outputs of liberty and prosperity and abundance and all the things that everybody says that they want, and you got to know what the inputs are, you got to know what to put it on the other side of the equation.

And one of those things is making sure that you have a blind justice system, equal justice system, and that we are doing exactly what MLK said, judging each other based on the content of our character, not the color of our skin. And it’s shameful that the President would make his choice based on that and then set that example for the rest of the country to literally go 50 years in reverse to that place, whereas in some places in our country, they did judge each other based on the color of skin. And that’s what we thought that we changed. We did change it and things.

Of course, you always have had racist and you’re always going to have some people like that. But boy, the nation was doing so much better until this administration decided to go backwards in time. But you know what, that’s the nature of man. The more I read the Bible, the more I read and understand it, there is nothing new under the sun. And that’s why we speak truth no matter what the cost is. We let the chips fall where they may and we will continue to do that here on this program, speaking truth, sharing truth, inspiring with the truth of our history and with how God is moving still in America and you can be a part of all of that. Go to wallbuilderslive.com and share our program with your friends and family and become one of our biblical citizenship coaches so that you can go through some of these courses right there in your living room.

Thanks for listening today. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.