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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Nomination of Neil Gorsuch

Do we treat the President's nominee for the Supreme Court as if Merrick Garland had never happened?

This is a stolen seat, as pilfered as any brazen burglary ever was. The empty chair on the court through virtually the entire last year of the Obama term was nothing but travesty, as the Republican party, the believers in the Scalia-like strict construction of our Constitution created a myth out of whole cloth, spinning a yarn that the open spot had to remain unoccupied until a new king was crowned. The Constitution shed a tear.
 
By all accounts, Judge Gorsuch has an impressive pedigree, and unlike virtually all Trump selections for cabinet positions, does not seem as if he was chosen by picking the most unqualified and inappropriate person possible. Columbia, Harvard, clerk for two Supreme Court Justices. And probably opens doors for old ladies.
 
But he is 49 and will likely be impacting the course of this nation for decades to come in crucial ways, different ways then Judge Garland most certainly would have.
 
As we face the reality of aging liberal justices and the strong likelihood of a court packed during the Trump era with those intent on bending the arc of this country away from values that many of us hold dear, the nomination of Judge Gorsuch is a slap in the face.
 
Somewhere Merrick Garland is watching and thinking someone is soon to be sitting in his seat. My hope is that the Democrats in the Senate charged with review of this nomination do all they can, in word and deed, to convey to this nation that we have been victims of a felony.
 
Rather than having amnesia over the empty chair debacle, it should serve to give Democrats the heart and courage to oppose this nominee, or any nominee, of the President. Elections have consequences, or so we thought, until we learned it meant only if a Republican leader was in power.
 
This seat deserved a different occupant. This country deserved a different fate.

2 comments:

Bruce Egert said...

This might be the best the nation is going to get by way of nomination and it might not be a bad idea for the Dems to pass on any intended fillibuster.

If I were in the Senate I would ask one question of the applicant, from three separate perspectives: 1) Do you agree or disagree that Roe v. Wade, decided, 44 years ago is and should remain the settled law of the land; 2) do you believe that Roe v. Wade exceeded Supreme Court authority (by invalidating many state laws proscribing abortion) but that due to its subsequent re-affirmance in Webster, that it should remain undisturbed; 3) do you believe that political pressure has any place in the decision-making process of a deliberative body like the Supreme Court.

If he can answer Yes, Yes and No, I would vote for him. All else is dictum.

Robert said...

Understood. But there is a capitulation that is very uncomfortable to me in treating this nomination as if the past did not exist. "When they go low, we go high" does not fit all circumstances. Maybe I am an elephant (not that kind) but the Republican misdeeds should not go without recognition at least, if not retribution.