Commentary

Gorsuch Faces Battle For Supreme Court Seat

The vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court played a crucial role in the 2016 election, particularly when it comes to Republican legislators and voters, who had a difficult time lining up behind Donald Trump.

Among the most convincing arguments for conservatives in voting for him was the vacancy left by the late Justice Scalia and further seats likely to become available. According to CNN, exit polls showed 56% of Trump voters found Supreme Court appointments to be “the most important factor” in their vote, with 70% of all voters claiming it was “important.”

Conservatives are encouraged by Trump’s choice of 10th Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the ninth seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The White House statement on the nomination points to the similarities between Scalia and Gorsuch: “Echoing a common theme of Justice Scalia’s jurisprudence, Judge Gorsuch once wrote that ‘a judge who likes every result he reaches is very likely a bad judge, reaching for results he prefers rather than those the law compels.’”

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If confirmed, Gorsuch will join Justices Alito, Thomas, Roberts and Kennedy on the conservative side of the bench.

Not so fast, however.

On the important issues of women’s rights, political contributions and various other progressive values, Gorsuch worries Senate Democrats.

Sen. Leahy (D-Vermont) in his statement following the nomination, strongly condemned Gorsuch: “President Trump said he would appoint justices who would overturn 40 years of jurisprudence established in Roe v. Wade. Judge Gorsuch has shown a willingness to limit women’s access to healthcare that suggests the President is making good on that promise.”

Likewise, Sen. Wyden (D-Oregon) tweeted: “Gorsuch represents a breathtaking retreat from the notion that Americans have fundamental Constitutional rights.”

In the not-too-distant past, Republicans blocked a vote on the widely respected moderate D.C. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland for a year. Senate Democrats can filibuster Gorsuch with 41 votes, but Republicans could override that by eliminating the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees in a simple majority vote.

With a majority in the Senate, Gorsuch is likely to be confirmed, even if the 48 Senate Democrats put up a serious fight.

The hypocrisy is starkly obvious on the Republican side of the aisle. Sen. Cruz (R-Texas), for example, pushed to block Garland, and even threatened to prevent a vote if Hillary Clinton were elected president. Now. he has the temerity to ask Democrats to entertain a vote on Gorsuch, when he extended no such courtesy.

The upcoming fight, as we’ve seen with Trump’s various cabinet nominees, will be tense and possibly lengthy. First, to vet a radical pick with extreme conservative views. Second, because Democrats have the right to respond in kind during Gorsuch’s process.

1 comment about "Gorsuch Faces Battle For Supreme Court Seat".
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  1. Ken Kueker from Billboard Connection, February 3, 2017 at 10:15 a.m.

    In 2006, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and 12 current Democratic senators (including Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein) were part of a unanimous vote to appoint Gorsuch to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.  It seems a little late to be calling him unacceptable now.

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