On Merit And Principle

In the not too distant future every United States Senator will be asked to pass judgment on the suitability of Neil Gorsuch to sit on the Supreme Court. Though qualified by review of resume and experience he would be a dangerous choice for America and his confirmation would reward un-American behavior. Let’s explore.  

History tends to repeat itself and the Trump administration is no exception. Elements of the rise of 20th European fascist leaders along with the worst post-war Republican administrations (Nixon, Reagan and George W. Bush) abound. I will not fault a son for the sins of his parent but I find it interesting that Judge Gorsuch is the son of Ronald Reagan’s controversial EPA Administrator Anne Gorsuch Burford.

Gorsuch is billed as Scalia 2.0 as in the late Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia whose seat he would fill. Scalia was a Reagan appointee. From a progressive point of view the best thing about Scalia’s time on the Court is that it ended. At age 49, Gorsuch would effectively give Scalia another 30 years on the high court. Like Scalia, (one of his heroes), Gorsuch is a Constitutional originalist. That means he interprets the Constitution as he feels the founders intended it to be. Remember that was Scalia’s justification for saying that a well-regulated militia was any American.

Gorsuch came from a short list President Trump was given by the Federalist Society (which Scalia helped found and bring to prominence). That itself is reason for any progressive to reject Gorsuch. These people are not conservatives; they are right wing extremists.

The strength Gorsuch has going into hearings is that he has never had a ruling on abortion. However there are plenty of other rulings in his history that makes him unacceptable. (Besides there is little doubt as to which way he will rule on women’s reproductive rights.) Hobby Lobby passed through his court on the way to the Supreme Court and he sided with Hobby Lobby over the rights of women in a secular nation.

Gorsuch has a history of siding with business over workers. He is definitely not a pro-labor guy or friend of the working man and woman.

Now we need to examine the unique circumstances that brought us to his nomination by Donald Trump. Upon Scalia’s death President Obama nominated the well qualified and somewhat moderate Merrick Garland. Within hours Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Republicans would not even give any Obama nominee a hearing let alone consent to the nomination. For nearly a year the Republican Senators simply refused to do their job and left the seat vacant. Mitch made a nothing to lose and everything to win bet. If Hillary Clinton won the election then he could either confirm Garland in the lame duck session or deal with Clinton’s nominee. If (in what then looked like an upset) the Republican won he could replace Scalia with another right wing extremist.

By confirming Gorsuch the Senate would put a dangerous justice on the Supreme Court and reward bad behavior by McConnell and every Republican Senator. From a practical standpoint Gorsuch is bad for America. From a moral principles standpoint his confirmation rewards and encourages un-American activity in the United States Senate. What lesson does that teach our children?

I urge every member of the United States Senate to vote against Neil Gorsuch. At this point I am confident that every Democrat will. If in the process they filibuster, they have the votes to block the nomination. Will McConnell then go nuclear? That is fodder for future articles and another reason to keep an eye on this unfolding situation.

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