By David Codrea
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Barack Obama’s nomination of Abid Riaz Qureshi for United States District Judge for the District of Columbia has been sent to the Senate, the White House announced Tuesday. If confirmed, Qureshi will become the first “Muslim-American” federal judge, a development lauded by groups like the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Muslim Advocates, not to mention “progressives” and their media cheerleaders, meaning all major newspapers and networks.
Unsurprisingly, there are those raising concerns about what influence being a Muslim will have on Qureshi’s decisions, including if his faith will give any credence to Sharia “law” in his decision-making. Others see placement of a Muslim in federal courts, with the ultimate potential to rise to the Supreme Court, as a key development in implementing Obama’s “fundamental transformation of America.”
Those objections won’t gain much traction, at least the “official kind.
Article VI of the Constitution flat-out mandates:
[N]o religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
Raising that caution has resulted with some claiming Islam is a system of theocratic domination, not a “religion.” The insurmountable obstacle that contention faces is it carries no recognized “real world” legal weight. No law has been passed and no court has upheld such a notion. Believe it if you like, but don’t expect anything to change in the way government operates unless you can flesh out a realistic way to make that happen.
If anyone thinks Republicans will oppose Qureshi based on that, think again. GOP presidential candidates agreed with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders that a Muslim could be president (some people say we already have one), and that makes whether they’d object to one being a judge a moot point.
Politically, Obama has made a brilliant move here—Senate Republicans are already on the defensive for holding up confirmation hearings for Merrick Garland, and the more gutless ones are no doubt eager to cave on a lesser nominee, especially to ward off “progressive” accusations of being “Islamophobic” or “racist.”
God forbid they be put in a “basket of deplorables”!
Liberty advocate KrisAnne Hall advises that upholding the Constitution is the only real test, both for confirming nominees and for allowing them to remain in office. She is, of course, correct. Unfortunately, the Republican-dominated Senate continues failing on that score, as evidenced by overwhelming “progressive” domination of federal appeals courts.
I’ve come up with three generic questions on the right to keep and bear arms that any applicant for the job (that’s what nominees are, right?) ought to be able to unequivocally answer. Typically they’re allowed to weasel out of such things by claiming they don’t want to prejudge any cases that might come before them:
- Do you believe the Second Amendment articulates an individual right?
- Should Second Amendment cases be considered under strict scrutiny?
- Does the legal concept “in common use at the time,” at a minimum, apply to weaponry carried by infantry soldiers for battlefield use, in addition to those commonly used for self-defense and sport?
Naturally, I wouldn’t hold my breath for these questions to even be asked, let alone answered. And I’d expect the same lack of due diligence on any other hot-button political issue, all, no doubt, “in the spirit of bipartisanship.”
So far, it looks like nothing will keep Obama from getting his way. Still, if there’s one thing we can be sure of, he would not be nominating someone he didn’t think would be on his side. So what’s left?
Perhaps nothing. Then again, Qureshi’s insider connections may be a key factor in vetting him.
He’s a partner in Latham & Watkins, a DC-based insider/globalist law firm. They do pro bono work for Syrian refugees and they proudly display awards for LGBT inclusiveness. In 2012, 71% of their political contributions went to Democrats.
What’s interesting to note is how many appointments to “key administration posts” Obama seems to have made from Latham & Watkins. One of special interest is White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler. She was the administration lawyer who blocked the House Oversight and Senate Judiciary Committees from interviewing former National Security Council Director of North American Affairs Kevin O’Reilly on Fast and Furious “gunwalking,” a story with a recent and potentially significant development.
So let’s look at the relationship between the White House and this law firm for a moment. Current and former Latham & Watkins partners and associates Obama has nominated include:
- John Mendez, Nominee for Member, Board of Directors of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, and upon appointment to be designated Chairman.
- Amit Priyavadan Mehta: Nominee for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. [He was confirmed—this is the same court Qureshi is being nominated for.]
- Janice Schneider, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, Department of Interior.
- Sharon Y. Bowen, Nominee for Vice-Chair, Board of Directors of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.
- Dabney Langhorne Friedrich: Nominee for Commissioner, United States Sentencing Commission.
- Robert M. Sussman, Appointee for Member, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin.
- Sharon Y. Bowen, Nominee for Commissioner, Commodity Futures Trading Commission [same person as above].
- Zachary Thomas Fardon: Nominee for United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.
- Jose W. Fernandez, Nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs, Department of State.
- Arne M. Sorenson, Appointee for Member, President’s Export Council.
- Richard J. Danzig, Nominee for Member, President’s Intelligence Advisory Board.
- Donald Remy, Nominee for General Counsel of the Army, Department of Defense.
- Kendall C. Burman, Associate White House Counsel.
Those certainly are some key areas for Obama-friendly Latham & Watkins insiders to be pulling strings in. As George Carlin observed [NSFW], “It’s a big club and you ain’t in it.”
Oh, that’s just the way Washington works, right? Why not find out?
It’s a given that any nominee Obama advances will have been picked to further his agenda. It’s also a certainty that religion cannot and will not be a basis for Republican objections. If the object is to block Obama’s unconstitutional agenda, this gives Senate Judiciary all the justification it needs to investigate whether key Latham & Watkins-related placements pose any conflicts. It also renders accusations of bigotry irrelevant.
What that can do is provide justification to investigate the matter. That process will take long enough so that Qureshi’s nomination will be rendered moot by a Trump victory—or rendered the least of our worries if Hillary wins.
- Obama Nomination of Qureshi to DC Court to Test Senate Republicans
- Fundamental Court Transformation Removes Choices for Gun Owners except Obey or Not
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.