The Battle over Judge Neil Gorsuch begins

By Dave Andrusko

pro-abortion Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

Pro-abortion Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

Three related items, following last night’s announcement that Judge Neil Gorsuch is President Donald Trump’s choice to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

First, there is a small group of picketers who, Monday through Friday, hold a sign on the sidewalk of the street which runs parallel to the back door of NRLC’s office. Their signs and their issue have nothing to do with us or with the Supreme Court.

As I walk by them this morning, one of the three who is always there passes along the information to another (this is very close to word for word: “We’ll be outside the White House on Sunday to protest the Gorsuch nomination.”

Welcome to the nomination of Judge Gorsuch, who sits on U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

In a town where no secret is kept, no news outlet (to my knowledge) knew in advance that Gorsuch was President Trump’s choice. But, of course. the opposition was in high gear long before the actual announcement.

Naturally, any nominee of a Republican president would/will be trashed, bashed, and demagogued without the need for even three seconds of reflection whether the candidate is–as Gorsuch is–overwhelmingly qualified to sit on the nation’s highest court. And it’ll just get worse and more vicious.

Second, NARAL and the usual lineup of suspects want Democrats to filibuster the nomination. Last night, following the Gorsuch announcement, pro-life Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was asked about the so-called “nuclear option,” a change in the rule by which it would require only a simple majority to confirm the nominee.

Bret Baier of Fox News asked, “Are you going to use the nuclear option?” Three times Sen. McConnell responded, unequivocally, “We’re going to get the judge confirmed.”

Three, by all accounts, Judge Gorsuch is brilliant, personable, and very persuasive. Thus, alongside the usual over-heated denunciations, various news accounts ran quotes from people who are Democrats but who understand Gorsuch’s qualifications.

My favorite came via Melissa Hart, a University of Colorado law professor, in a story that appeared in the Washington Post:

“He has very strong opinions, but he just treats people well in every context,” said is a Democrat who clerked for former Justice John Paul Stevens and knows Gorsuch because he has taught judicial ethics, legal writing and antitrust law at the school.

Robert Barnes’ story ends with Prof. Hart saying she does not believe there is a “principled reason to block” Gorsuch. In an amazingly revealing concluding statement, we read

“He will have a strong influence on the court because he’s a very persuasive writer,” she said. “That’s a little scary, but it’s not disqualifying.”