Open Letter To Presidential Candidates on Supreme Court Justices: No More Surprises

October 2, 2015
Washington, DC

The next President is likely to appoint as many as three justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, establishing a new majority and shaping the judicial branch for a generation. Those justices will serve for many years after the next President leaves office and their votes will impact every facet of American life.

Will the next President select justices who abide by the text and original meaning of the Constitution, even when doing so is politically unpopular or inconvenient? Or will our system of checks and balances be further damaged by the selection of justices who take for themselves the power to rewrite the Constitution according to their own political preferences? Sadly, despite three Republican presidencies and seven appointments to the Court in the last thirty-five years, we still have a Court that too frequently does the latter.

The undersigned conservative leaders are determined to reverse that trend. To that end, candidates who seek the presidency must, at minimum:

• Commit to nominating justices with a proven, judicial record of upholding the Constitution. No matter their credentials, avoid nominees with thin paper trails who have failed to publicly demonstrate their unwavering commitment to limited, constitutional government.

• Commit to spending the energy and political capital necessary to win a confirmation battle. Liberal activists would do anything to block the appointment of justices in the mold of Scalia, Thomas, or Alito. The next president must demand an up-or-down vote for such justices, and support efforts to eliminate the judicial filibuster.

• Commit to ending the liberal American Bar Association’s preferential role in screening judicial nominees.

• Commit to reminding the justices they appoint that they take an oath to faithfully support and defend the Constitution, and that their oath continues throughout the time they hold office.


Hon. Edwin Meese III
Former Attorney General
President Ronald Reagan

Hon. J. Kenneth Blackwell
Policy Board Member
American Civil Rights Union

Hon. Bob McEwen
U.S. House of Representatives
Former Member, Ohio

Hon. Becky Norton Dunlop
Chairman, Conservative Action Project (CAP)
Former White House Advisor, President Ronald Reagan

L. Brent Bozell, III

William L. Walton
Vice President
Council for National Policy

Rod D. Martin
Founder and CEO
The Martin Organization

Sherri R. Martin
The Martin Foundation

Nicholas Stehle
Campaign for the American Future

Hon. David McIntosh
Former Member of Congress

Kelly Shackelford, Esq.
President, CEO and Chief Counsel
Liberty Institute

Ellen L. Barrosse
Conservative Steering Committee
Republican National Committee

Brian Brown
National Organization for Marriage

Frank Schubert
Mission Public Affairs, LLC

Floyd Brown
Western Center for Journalism

Bob Adams
Revive America PAC

Linwood Bragan
Executive Director
CapStand Council for Policy and Ethics

Rick Scarborough
Vision America Action

Michael Farris, JD, LLM

Ted Baehr
Publisher, MOVIEGUIDE(R)
Member, Broadcast Film Critics Association

Seton Motley
Less Government

Ali Akbar
Senior Advisor
Black Conservatives Fund

Dan Weber
Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC)

Hon. Sharron Angle
National Federation of Republican Assemblies

Dr. Shawn A. Mitchell
National Chaplain
National Federation of Republican Assemblies

Hon. Jerry Melvin
Florida Republican Assembly

Jim Backlin
Christian Coalition of America

Ron Robinson
Young America’s Foundation

Kristin Fecteau
Campaign to Free America

Gary L. Bauer
American Values

Carrie Severino
Chief Counsel and Policy Director
Judicial Crisis Network

Gary Marx
Former Executive Director and Board Member
Judicial Crisis Network

Phillip L. Jauregui
Judicial Action Group

Raymond J. LaJeunesse, Jr.
Vice President & Legal Director
National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation

Richard A. Viguerie

Ron Pearson
Executive Director
Conservative Victory Fund

Curt Levey
The Committee for Justice

Marjorie Dannenfelser
Susan B. Anthony List

Alfred S. Regnery
Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund

The Honorable T. Kenneth Cribb, Jr.
Former Domestic Advisor
President Ronald Reagan

Michael Grebe
President and CEO
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation

Jay Mount
MDS Communications

Lee A. Beaman
Beaman Automotive Group

James C. Miller III
Former OMB Director
President Ronald Reagan

John C. Eastman
Senior Fellow
The Claremont Institute

Col. Clifton P. Schroeder, USMC Retired
Member, Council For National Policy

Ralph Benko
Center for Civic Virtue

Quin Hillyer
Veteran Conservative Columnist

Willes K. Lee
Executive Vice President
National Federation of Republican Assemblies

Christopher N. Malagisi
Young Conservatives Coalition

Richard D. Hayes
Hayes, Berry, White & Vanzant, LLP

Kevin Kookogey
President & Founder
Linchpins of Liberty

Joseph A. Morris
Morris & De La Rosa

Elaine Donnelly
Center for Military Readiness

Judson Phillips
Tea Party Nation

C. Preston Noell III
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

Mike Spence
Conservative Republicans of California

Alex St. James
Executive Director
Blacks Economic-Security Trust (BEST) Foundation

Andresen Blom
Executive Director
Grassroot Hawaii Action

Larry Cirignano
DC Representative
Children First Foundation

Matt Schlapp
The American Conservative Union

Dan Schneider
Executive Director
The American Conservative Union

Tom McClusky
Vice President
March for Life Action

Hon. Donald J. Devine
Former Director, U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Senior Scholar, The Fund for American Studies

Mario H. Lopez
Hispanic Leadership Fund

Herman Cain
President & C.E.O.

Gina Gleason
Executive Director
Faith and Public Policy

George Landrith
Frontiers of Freedom

All organizations listed for identification purposes only.

The Conservative Action Project, founded by former Attorney General Edwin Meese and chaired by The Honorable Becky Norton Dunlop, is designed to facilitate conservative leaders working together on behalf of common goals. Participants include the CEO’s of over 100 organizations representing all major elements of the conservative movement: economic, social and national security.