Thanks to an energized conservative base, crossover Democrats, and an appeal to voters who hadn’t participated in an election in years, Donald Trump gathered more Republican primary votes than any candidate in history. But to win the election, Trump had to expand that base of support to include conservative voters who had deep concerns about the billionaire’s commitment to the cause.
In an effort to bring those voters into the fold, Trump promised to nominate a Supreme Court judge from a prescribed list of possibilities, all of whom had been vetted and approved of by conservative groups.
Neil Gorsuch was the fulfillment of one of Trump’s most significant campaign promises, and millions of voters are now waiting to see the Senate confirm him to the bench. Unfortunately, Democrats are digging their heels into the dirt and threatening to filibuster the confirmation vote – not because they oppose Gorsuch, but because they want to make a political statement against the president.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren were among those calling on Republicans to delay the hearings this week due to FBI Director James Comey’s admission that the Bureau is investigating links between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. If the strategy on Gorsuch was uncertain up till Monday, Comey’s testimony solidified the plan. Unless something major breaks in the GOP’s favor in the next couple of days, Democrats will almost certainly force Mitch McConnell to invoke the nuclear option and confirm Gorsuch with Republican votes.
In the hearings themselves, though, is where Democrats are really tipping their hand. By trying to make it look like they oppose Gorsuch on his own merits, they are embarrassing themselves and proving to all Americans that they do not approve of ANY conservative-leaning judge, regardless of his qualifications.
Senator Dianne Feinstein said that Gorsuch’s originalist views on the Constitution were “really troubling.”
“I firmly believe the American Constitution is a living document,” she said, “intended to evolve as our country evolves.”
Oh, we’re sure that you do, Ms. Feinstein, since that is essentially the dividing line between “liberal” and “conservative” as it pertains to the judiciary. And that’s why it’s so important to keep liberals off the court, especially the highest one in the land. Democrats can (sometimes) be tolerated when we’re talking about elected officials. After all, it’s politics. It’s about having a point of view. Great.
But politics have no place in the judicial branch, or at least they shouldn’t. You may think the Constitution “should” be this way or that way, but that’s not the question a judge is called upon to answer. The question is only what the Constitution “is,” and it’s up to our Supreme Court judges to get as close to that answer as humanly possible. It’s not easy. It’s not perfect. You couldn’t just hand it off to a computer. It takes reason, research, wisdom, and common sense.
Most of all, though, it takes an abiding respect for this country and the principles upon which it was founded. You can’t simultaneously possess that respect and also want to change the Constitution to fit whatever current political trends you happen to follow. Gorsuch appears to have that constitutional respect, and that alone makes him a wonderful choice to replace the late, great Antonin Scalia.
Make it happen, Republicans.