I’ll start by saying, I find the whole Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), nomination / confirmation process a bit whacked.
I really don’t understand the point of a Democratic filibuster. Why not just vote No if you don’t like him? A nominee needs 60 votes. Gorsuch won’t get 60 votes because no one on the Dem side will vote for him. At that point, the Republican senators will have to change the Senate rules to lower the standard or withdraw the nomination and nominate someone new.
Let’s face it, the POTUS could do worse than withdraw Gorsuch’s nomination and nominate Garland instead. They’re both older white male lawyers with a surname starting with G. He said he wanted to reach out to the Democrats, and punish the GOP for failing to back him. Withdrawing Gorsuch’s nomination and nominating Garland instead might be just the thing to prove to Dem’s he wants to “deal.”
I have nothing against Gorsuch personally. His mother was the one that was thrown out of her Republican cabinet post at the EPA for corruption when he was 15. Notoriously, when asked to release records that proved her wrong doing, she said she couldn’t, claiming Executive Privilege covered those records.
Pres. Reagan responded by saying he would “never use executive privilege to cover up wrong doing” and let her fall. I wonder what kind of impact that humiliation had on Gorsuch? It wasn’t his wrong doing, but he did suffer for it. It probably gave him a few negative thoughts about presidents and Executive Privilege.
I question whether Gorsuch (age 49, but not likely to live long, his mother died at 62, his father at 64. That gives Gorsuch about 12 years on the bench) is a good fit for the Supreme Court though. In a decision last week, on one of Gorsuch’s rulings, the SCOTUS knocked down his decision 8-0. That means everyone on the court, liberals, moderates, and conservatives, thought his decision was dead wrong.
If a minority of judges had agreed with him, then he would have had a leg to stand on. But as it is, if every Supreme Court jurist could see his decision was wrong, dead wrong, if it was that obvious his decision was wrong, he doesn’t belong on the Supreme Court. He’s an okay lower bench judge, given his 10 years of Federal court experience, but he’s clearly not qualified to exercise final judgement.
This is true of several other cases that appeared before him as well. A large group of judges decide one way, correctly, and he makes an obviously wrong opinion. Worse, he then goes on to write his minority opinion, and it’s so obviously wrong but not for legal reasons so much as his personal political beliefs.
Having a person like this adjudicate at a lower level is frustrating, but you can almost guarantee his opinion will be reversed on appeal so it’s safe enough. Such a reversal can’t happen if he’s a justice at the SCOTUS. So, to me, it’s just wrong to nominate such a judge for the SCOTUS. He brings nothing to the Court other than his Protestantism (the current court is composed of Catholic and Jewish justices), which I guess is something toward diversity, but little else.
Other problems he has, which are totally not of his making, are the taint on the situation of his nomination, as a result of Republican failure to do their job and advise and consent to Garland, the last legitimate American POTUS’s nominee; and the taint of being nominated by the current POTUS who has as-yet unfinished investigations into his Russian alliances, making Gorsuch a questionable choice.
There’s not anything Gorsuch can do about either of the situations. He really is sort of an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire. Congress really should have declined to consider a nominee, any nominee, by a president under investigation. It clearly doesn’t bother the Republicans to have 8 justices rather than 9, nor does it hamper the Court’s functioning.
At this point, the current POTUS has gutted the State Department, disgraced the office of POTUS, put unqualified people in charge of federal agencies, attempted to destroy the national security branches, subverted the investigation into his administration, and is not making our country safer, stronger, or better in anyway. I see no reason to consider his nominee for SCOTUS.
What happened to Garland (age 64, with a parent still alive, and 19 years of Federal court experience) was unconstitutional. Congress was required to advise and consent, they didn’t even attempt to advise about the nominee. But at this point, Garland was selected by a legitimately elected American POTUS who was in full possession of his mind and had no debt or connection to the Russian government.
I’d go ahead with hearings to confirm Garland instead. It’s really the only way to preserve the integrity of the nomination process and the Supreme Court. As for the POTUS, withdrawing Gorsuch’s nomination and renominating Garland is a way to reward the “disloyal” Republicans who tanked Trump”care” and let them know he means business about dealing with Democrats. Kind of a win-win really.