Yesterday, President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch, from the 10th Circuit Appellate Court, to fill the vacancy left by Justice Scalia’s death on the Supreme Court.
Urge Washington State’s Senators Murray and Cantwell to support Justice Gorsuch’s nomination, as they did when he was originally elevated to the 10th Cirucuit Court of Appeals by signing our petition right here.
According to the White House Press release announcing the pick, “Judge Gorsuch is a brilliant jurist with an outstanding intellect and a clear, incisive writing style. He is universally respected for his integrity, fairness, and decency. And he understands the role of judges is to interpret the law, not impose their own policy preferences, priorities, or ideologies.”
We support the nomination of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and urge his timely confirmation.
Judge Gorsuch’s record shows that he will not engage in judicial activism, and will seek to interpret the law as it is not as he wishes it to be. That principle is fundamental to the rule of law and abandonment of that principle is at the root of the “right to abortion” the Court found in Roe v. Wade, and the “right to same-sex marriage” the Court found in Obergefell.
His record also indicates that he values the sanctity of human life. He authored a book that provides a keen legal and moral analysis of assisted suicide, concluding that “human beings are intrinsically valuable…and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.”
Judge Gorsuch’s judicial record shows that he values the rights of individuals against government action that would force them to violate their beliefs. In two prominent cases, Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor, Judge Gorsuch ruled against attempts by the federal government to compel people to purchase forms of contraceptives that violated their beliefs.
President Trump campaigned on a promise to appoint justices in the mold of Justice Scalia and this pick is widely thought to be a fulfillment of that commitment.
Princeton Professor Robby George, a leading conservative thinker and legal theorist says in an editorial this morning that, “Gorsuch’s combination of outstanding intellectual and personal qualities places him in the top rank of American jurists.”
The National Review says that Gorsuch is a worthy heir to Scalia.
Russell Moore, from the Ethics and Religious Liberty Council, who was consistently opposed to President Trump during his campaign, called Gorsuch, “an exceptional choice for Supreme Court Justice.”
This article from the Conservative Review describes 10 things you need to know about Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. It includes some interesting facts about the nominee as well as his perspective on a range of judicial issues.
Of course not everyone is excited about the nomination.
Democratic leadership in the Senate promised to filibuster the nomination before it was announced.
According to House Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi, this is a “very hostile appointment”. “Clean air, clean water, food safety, safety in medicine and the rest, if you care about that for your children he’s not your guy.”
She also said he is “hostile to children and schools” and has also ruled that children with autism don’t have the same rights. She also cited his decision in the Hobby Lobby case as evidence that he is “hostile to women’s reproductive rights.”
The nomination will now be sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee. If the committee recommends confirmation, as expected, it will move to the full Senate for a vote.
That is where things could get interesting.
Typically, the Senate gives broad deference to the President’s appointment for cabinet positions and Supreme Court vacancies. However, Senate Democrats are believed to be angry that President Obama’s nominee to the vacancy, Merrick Garland, never received a hearing from Republican leadership.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who voted to confirm Judge Gorsuch when he was appointed to the 10th Circuit in 2006, has said previously that Democrats will oppose the nomination “if they don’t appoint somebody good.”
The rules of the Senate require sixty votes in the Senate before the nominee is confirmed. There are 52 Republicans in the Senate. That means Democrats can effectively block — or “filibuster” — the confirmation if fewer than eight Democrats support Trump’s pick for the high court.
However, Republicans could change the rules of the Senate to eliminate the 60 vote requirement, as the Democrats did when they were in the majority.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, however, has expressed his belief that the nominee will receive confirmation through the normal course.
Adding intrigue to the Senate’s ability to mount successful opposition to the nomination is the fact that ten senate Democrats are running for reelection in 2018 in states that Trump won in 2016. It remains to be seen how strong their desire to dig in their heels against the new administration is.
Of note for voters in Washington State, both of our U.S. Senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, voted for to confirm Judge Gorsuch when he was appointed to the Court of Appeals.