As the fallout from the 2016 presidential shocker of Donald Trump actually getting elected sinks in around Washington, D.C., the American people should fasten their seatbelts for some high political theater.
Don’t buy into it.
As Independent Journal Review broke on Tuesday, Judge Neil Gorsuch is Donald Trump’s nominee for Supreme Court Justice of the United States.Image Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Things are likely to get awkward at the confirmation hearings when Democrats go on the attack against the Supreme Court nominee. Like Elena Kagan before him, Gorsuch is unlikely to take the bait on the social issues: abortion, gay marriage, and transgender bathrooms, just to name a few.
If the Democratic Party throws another national temper tantrum over the audacity to nominate a conservative — albeit temperate — Supreme Court Justice, the reward is likely to be a Trump nuclear option — Think Genghis Khan in a black robe — along with yet another potential midterm shellacking.
Orchestrating the kabuki dance for Democratic backers will be New York Senator Chuck Schumer (no word on whether he’s planning to break out his secret tear weapon during the hearings).
After Trump’s nomination was announced, Schumer laid out the following slight:
SCOTUS justice must stand up to a Pres willing to bend the Constitution. Serious doubts on Judge Gorsuch’s ability to meet this standard.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) February 1, 2017
Schumer went beyond a tweet to voice his misgivings about the nominee, while invoking the Senate’s filibuster practice.
“Judge Gorsuch has repeatedly sided with corporations over working people, demonstrated a hostility toward women’s rights, and most troubling, hewed to an ideological approach to jurisprudence that makes me skeptical that he can be a strong, independent Justice on the Court,” the senator said in a statement.
Gorsuch was nominated by voice vote for the 10th Circuit Court in 2006 under former President George W. Bush. Not only did Senator Schumer sing a different tune about Gorsuch at that time, so did several of his Democratic colleagues.
The list from the 109th Congress is quite authoritative, as compiled by MRC:
This support for Gorsuch as a Bush nominee included former Democratic senators:
- Barack Obama (D-IL)
- Joe Biden (D-DE)
- John Kerry (D-MA)
- Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
The following are Democrats currently in the Senate:
- Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
- Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
- Patty Murray (D-WA)
- Ron Wyden (D-OR)
- Richard Durbin (D-IL)
- Jack Reed (D-RI)
- Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
- Bill Nelson (D-FL)
- Tom Carper (D-DE)
- Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
- Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
- Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
Democratic senators are likely to engage in partisan hyperbole for the sake of their progressive audience and for a number of reasons. Gorsuch is up for the highest judicial office in the land, meaning he should have to face more scrutiny — albeit of a principled kind.
More tellingly, the Democratic Party is licking its wounds after another disappointing election year and is desperately seeking to find any victory — even an optical one.
If the Democrats believe that they can unleash a filibuster on Judge Gorsuch for the sake of making a bold political statement, however, they may find their victory to be a pyrrhic one.