President Joe Biden has nominated a radical activist, current Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn, to a powerful federal district court post. Judicial nominations don’t register on people’s list of scintillating topics. But they should.

It doesn’t matter what our laws are or who our president is if partisan judges replace laws and executive policies with whatever garbage they like. Not only is that offensive to the idea of democracy, but it erodes the stability that comes with written laws, which is downright dangerous. 

That’s the danger of Sarah Netburn. 

Netburn, a graduate of Brown University and UCLA School of Law, has been a magistrate judge for 12 years. Magistrate judges are district court helpers. They take certain cases off a district judge’s hands, in full or in part. In my experience, older magistrates judges are rarely partisan hacks, often seeking the job as a capstone after a long career. Younger magistrate judges are different. They try to signal they’re “on the team” to land a Senate-confirmed district court job. That’s what Netburn has been up to.

In 2022, Netburn decided that the Constitution, signed in 1787, requires a fully intact, 6-foot-2-inch male rapist to be housed in a women’s prison. Netburn found that the transgender-identifying male lacked “comfort” with his gender expression in the men’s prison. So, she forced nonconsenting female prisoners to be physically locked in with him — a large, ex-military, tattooed male rapist and child pornographer. Netburn discarded all concern for the women, pooh-poohing a “theoretical risk of sexual assault.” The basis for her certainty is baffling, as even Biden’s Bureau of Prisons straightforwardly asserted a real risk.

Not that assessing this risk takes an expert. We all know intuitively what happens to women housed with violent, perverted men when the doors lock and the lights go off. A former California prison guard called it “kids in the candy store.” If you can stomach the details, the Independent Women’s Forum just released a docuseries exposing the almost unimaginable horrors inside California’s women’s prisons, given state law, which permits men to self-identify into women’s prisons.

Now, it’s one thing, still bad, for a judge to think, “I hate the policy, but California law tells me I must put men in women’s prisons.” It’s another thing to divine a constitutional right for sex offender males to be housed in women’s prisons.

Netburn said the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment meant Indiana must accommodate the male’s wishes. The cruelty is precisely backward: vulnerable women, often in prison because of abusive relationships, do not deserve what Netburn is forcing upon them.

Netburn is absolutely disqualified to be a federal judge, starting with her inability to read the Constitution. Our founding document obviously does not demand that male rapists have unlimited access to women. Any judge who finds otherwise cannot read or reason, both necessary skills for judging.

But perhaps more importantly, Netburn does not share the basic values necessary to exercise good judgment. Every judge comes to the bench with his or her own set of values. Values are fundamental to the job, and judges must share the values of our country. As in, murder and rape are wrong, race does not determine guilt or innocence, and women should not be abused.

If judges don’t share our values, then the judicial system will be weaponized to change our values as a society. Netburn does not share our values. She rejects the idea of sex. This goes beyond silliness.

Sex is real. Men are larger, stronger, and more aggressive than women. It’s why men sign up for the draft and women do not. These male characteristics do not disappear when men pretend to be women. Those who claim otherwise not only endanger women, but they dismantle the very idea of sex, essential to society from the beginning of time. This is radical indeed. 

Sarah Netburn may have a long career ahead of her as an activist. But her activism has no place in the federal judiciary.