#1 DEMOCRATS' ASSAULT ON JUDGE GORSUCH IS A BUST by ThirstyMan 22.03.2017 12:26


How far on a limb will they go to block confirmation?

March 22, 2017 Joseph Klein

Democrats are flailing around in a desperate effort to block Judge Neil Gorsuch’s appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. They are still sore over what the New York Times editorial board claimed was the “Senate Republicans’ outrageous and unprecedented blockade of Merrick Garland” last year. Vengefully seeking to delegitimize Judge Gorsuch’s nomination, the Senate Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee are using much of their time trying to trip up Judge Gorsuch with “gotchas,” as well as caricaturing the man and his record. In the process, the Democrats appear petty and partisan, while Judge Gorsuch is acquitting himself with eloquence, dignity and wit. Over and over again, Judge Gorsuch stressed his fealty to the law, including to the Constitution.

“A judge is there to make sure that every person, poor or rich, mighty or meek, gets equal protection of the law,” Judge Gorsuch said. “I have one client,” he added. “It’s the law.”

Democrats evidently do not see Judge Gorsuch’s judicial temperament as a virtue. They do not like the outcomes of some of the decisions he was involved with as a federal appellate court judge, because they do not fit the progressives' social justice political agenda. Thus, they seek to characterize his views on major issues as way out of the so-called “mainstream” and against the “little guy.” They also question Judge Gorsuch's independence from the president who nominated him.

One theme the Democrats have been hammering away at for some time is to question what Judge Gorsuch would do when “called upon to stand up to this president,” as Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat from Illinois, put it in his opening remarks at the confirmation hearing. Anticipating this line of questioning and seeking to defuse the issue, committee chairman Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican from Iowa, asked Judge Gorsuch directly whether he would have any problem ruling against President Trump. "That's a softball, Mr. Chairman," Judge Gorsuch responded. "I have no problem ruling against a person or any party. There's no such thing as a Republican judge or a Democratic judge. We just have judges."

Aside from Judge Gorsuch’s own assurances that he would follow the law wherever it took him, regardless of politics or policy preferences, Judge Gorsuch received praise on the opening day of the confirmation hearing from a man who himself has taken on President Trump in court. Neal K. Katyal, who served as acting solicitor general in the Obama administration and is representing Hawaii in its challenge to President Trump’s travel suspension, said about Judge Gorsuch, “This is a first-rate intellect and a fair and decent man.”

When Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat from Vermont, asked Judge Gorsuch whether he believed that President Trump’s national security directives were subject to judicial review, Judge Gorsuch responded: "No man is above the law."

However, the judge appropriately declined to indicate his thoughts on how he might apply the First Amendment’s clauses pertaining to religious freedom to the specific challenges brought against President Trump’s travel suspension executive orders. “We have a free exercise clause, which protects the free exercise of religious liberties by all persons in this country," Judge Gorsuch said. "If you're asking how I would apply it to a specific case, I can't talk about that for obvious reasons."

Democrats are also seeking to paint Judge Gorsuch as an extremist whose views are way out of the so-called “mainstream.” They are trying to pin him down on his views of Roe v. Wade to prove their point. While Judge Gorsuch did not embrace the term “super-precedent” that Senator Dianne Feinstein coined, he said: “I would tell you that Roe vs. Wade, decided in 1973, is the precedent of the United States Supreme Court. It has been reaffirmed many times." Indicating that he had not made any prior commitments on how he would rule on specific cases during the course of the nomination process, he added, “I don’t believe in litmus tests for judges.”

Senator Feinstein also went after Judge Gorsuch on what he had purportedly stated in certain documents while serving in the Bush administration about the use of waterboarding and other interrogation techniques considered to be torture. Judge Gorsuch responded that he would have to look at the specific documents Senator Feinstein was referring to, but said more generally that he did not mean to advocate or defend the use of torture as Senator Feinstein intimidated he may have done.


Some Democrats have already indicated their consideration of a filibuster when it comes time to bring Judge Gorsuch’s nomination to the Senate floor. Will there be 8 Democrats willing to defy their caucus and vote to close down such an obstructionist filibuster, allowing an up-or-down vote on the merits? Will the Democrats decide in the end to let Judge Gorsuch through and wait for the next nomination to fight all the way with a filibuster? If not, Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell will have no choice but to invoke the “nuclear” option and have Judge Gorsuch’s nomination for the Supreme Court proceed with a majority vote.

for more comments by Feinstein, Franken and Whitehouse see:

#2 RE: DEMOCRATS' ASSAULT ON JUDGE GORSUCH IS A BUST by ThirstyMan 22.03.2017 12:30


Best comment so far goes to Lindsey Graham on the Gorsuch hearings.

~~~ "If this were a fight they'd have stopped it yesterday."

Xobor Create your own Forum with Xobor