On Hugh Hewitt’s radio program this afternoon, 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush expressed his disappointment in both of the big Supreme Court decisions of the last two days. And he said that he would consider breaking the filibuster — as the radio host suggested — to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
“I’m disappointed in both decisions,” Bush told Hewitt. “And it’s important, I think, to think about going forward what kind of judges we need particularly on the highest court in the land. And I’ve given that some thought, because I was governor of Florida. And when I was governor, we tried to find people with a proven record of judicial restraint, and people that were committed to enforcing the Constitutional limits on government authority. In essence, what I’m saying is I think we need to have people that have not just theoretically, but have had a proven record of not legislating from the bench. And these are talented, smart people, but these two decisions are really disappointing.”
Asked how he would avoid appointing another stealth lib like David Souter, Bush answered, “I think the way you do it is that you focus on people that are qualified to be Supreme Court justices that have a proven record of judicial restraint. And so I think you have to be all in to fight for people that have a record, because today in America, the minute you have a record, you’re subject to attack. But that’s the best way to prove that someone has a consistency in their view of, in terms of judicial philosophy.”
Both Hewitt and Bush had high praise for Chief Justice Roberts even though they didn’t agree with his ObamaCare decision.
“He’s an old colleague of mine,” Hewitt said. “I disagreed with him yesterday, I agreed with him today. But I know he’s a man of absolute integrity, and that his arguments are always reasonable, even when I disagree with him. Is he still a model for you going forward as he was for President George W. Bush?”
“Well, I liked one of his rulings, and I didn’t like the other,” Bush answered. “But he is a person of unimpeachable integrity and great intelligence, and I’ve met him a few times. And he’s an impressive guy for sure. I think going forward, where we’re left as it relates to the marriage issue is it’s important for all of us to stay engaged, because I think what we need to do is try to make sure that religious freedom and conscience is protected, and also have a society that is just and loving that doesn’t discriminate. And I think if we can’t figure out how to do that, then we’re in a heap of trouble as a nation. I think we can do it, but it’s going to require a lot more than just this ruling to sort this stuff out.”
One of the things the ruling left to be sorted out, Hewitt noted, was the tax-exempt status of institutions that reject other than marriage between one man and one woman. He asked Bush if he thought that tax-exempt status was in danger, and Bush predicted that the issue is “not going away for awhile.”
“It wasn’t a definitive ruling that protects the universality of religious freedom,” Bush said. “So I think there’s going to be a period of time where this is sorted out with other court cases. I think when you, I think tax-exempt status is probably more protected than work-related issues, or this is, there’s varying degrees of this. This is going to be something that’s not going away for a while, and I think we’re big enough as a country to make sure that we have, that we respect people in long-term, loving relationships, and that we allow people to act on their religious faith, not just to have them, you know, have their private views that they can have in their own house or in the pews of their church, but they can act on their sense of consciousness. And if we do that, you know, we’ll protect the first freedom as well as just not being a society that organizes itself around discriminating people.”
Regarding the ObamaCare decision, Hewitt asked Bush if he would “invoke the Reid rule and break the filibuster” in order to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Bush was hesitant to embrace that idea, but he didn’t rule it out, saying he “would certainly consider it.”