Social and religious conservatives in Iowa are vowing to make Republican U.S. Senators who might run for president pay for failing to push a confrontation in the Senate over President Bush’s judicial nominations. Chuck Hurley, president of the Iowa Family Policy Center, says Republicans like Arizona Senator John McCain and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham should have stuck to their guns.”I’ve heard it said numerous times that short of a nuclear war, the courts are a president’s greatest legacy. They sit for sometimes 35 (or) 40 years and they’re the ones calling the shots right now,” Hurley says. “This is more than an issue. It is the issue.” Control of the courts will be the “heart and soul” of the next presidential campaign, according to Hurley. “It is the number one issue because no matter what we do in the Iowa Legislature or in the federal congress, the courts have shown a proclivity to overturn it,” Hurley says. He predicts the issue will be a deciding factor in votes cast at the Iowa Republican Party’s straw poll a few months before the Iowa Caucuses, as well as the night of the Caucuses. Hurley says Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel did not sign onto the filibuster compromise, and that gives him a boost in the eyes of conservative Iowa Republicans. Hurley was part of a coalition of conservative groups in Iowa that wrote a letter to all the potential presidential candidates, warning them they’d be watching their actions on this issue closely.
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