Many liberals dislike Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch for a number of reasons, whether it be his more Conservative stances or the fact that his seat was stolen from Merrick Garland. However, despite these things, I think we should take a breath and, although it seems uncommon in politics these days, think about our situation. Gorsuch is by no means the perfect candidate for any liberal but there is most definitely a case to be made for him. His education is exemplary, he has a strong record of previously held positions with few controversial rulings, and most of all, he is one of the least political judges in modern history, which in a government that is currently dominated by Republicans, having one less political judge would actually be a good thing. This scenario is most definitely a pick your battles type situation for the Democrats, and they should be careful when using their political capital against the Supreme Court Nominee. These are the many things one must consider before you decide to vote against Gorsuch.
Firstly Gorsuch is extremely qualified from his education alone. Gorsuch attended Columbia University for his undergraduate degree where he earned a Bachelor of Arts. After that, he received his Juris Doctor from Harvard and finally he received a Doctor of Philosophy in Law from University College, Oxford. He joined the two-year-old law firm of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans and Figel. He did a lot of trial work and, after winning, his first trial was likened to the classic TV lawyer Perry Mason. He made his first splash into politics by publishing an op-ed article about the 2002 Senate delaying the nomination of John Roberts and, ironically, Merrick Garland to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, saying “the most impressive judicial nominees are grossly mistreated by the Senate.”
He had a very successful career at Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans and Figel. After this he was appointed Principle Deputy to the Associate Attorney General at the Justice Department where he served in this capacity until 2006. On May 10th, 2006 he was nominated to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals by George W. Bush and on July 20th he was confirmed for the position. He clearly has a very strong past in the court and is qualified for a position on the Supreme Court. Perhaps his most controversial case is known as the Frozen Trucker case. While I do disagree with his ruling, it is both an understandable reading of the law and a well-defended position. Overall, for a Trump nomination, he is a normal nominee; he is qualified and doesn’t have a lot of controversies associated with his rulings.
All observable signs point to Gorsuch being a non-political judge. He views judgeship as less of a political position and more of a justice position. He says he doesn’t believe in intentionally overturning precedent and that it is not the purpose of a judge. When asked by Sen Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) during his confirmation hearing if he planned on or was asked by President Trump to overturn Roe v. Wade, he answered, “Senator I would’ve walked out the door if he had.” When asked by Senator Grassley (R-Iowa) about precedent in general he answered: “part of being a good judge is coming in and taking precedent as it stands, and your personal views about precedent have absolutely nothing to do with the job of a good judge.”
When Grassley pressed further about comparing one precedent, for example a Gun Rights precedent, against Roe v. Wade, Gorsuch responded by saying that “a good judge will consider it as precedent of the United States Supreme Court worthy as treatment of precedent like any other.” He clearly doesn’t prefer one precedent to another publicly and is willing to give each one a fair shake regardless of his personal opinion. Gorsuch also displays a fervent respect for his position and the position of others in the Judiciary, unlike our President. When asked about Trump’s tweets against judges who ruled against his Immigration Ban, he said that the attacks were “disheartening” and “discouraging;” thus he is willing to show respect to others and not just acting as Trump’s latest yes man/woman.
Gorsuch clearly states that he is against judges legislating. Regardless of whether or not you actually believe judges aren’t legislators, it is a benefit for liberals to have a non-political Republican Supreme Court Justice. He won’t be there to overturn Roe v. Wade or to pass the Immigration Ban, he is there to judge laws based on their Constitutionality and legality, nothing more, nothing less. He shows a respect for his office and the office of others and, accounting for human error, rules consistently and fairly.
The last angle I’m asking you to consider is that this may not be the best time to stall a Supreme Court pick. As I stated in my previous article on the Supreme Court, it is very much within the realm of possibility that at least one more Supreme Court Justice will either resign or pass under a Trump administration, even if he only gets one term. All things considered, Gorsuch is a very non-partisan, qualified pick, especially coming from the administration who nominated Betsy DeVos. Democrats may want to save their protest for a worse Supreme Court pick, or one closer to the end of Trump’s presidency like Sen. McConnell led the Republicans to do towards the end of Obama’s presidency. Then the Democrats could strategically steal back their seat, similarly to what the Republicans did to Garland in the first place.
If you’ve gotten this far in the article thank you; in the current political climate it is very hard to listen to each other’s opinions. The last thing I will ask you to consider is the fact that even though the seat is a stolen spot, Gorsuch had nothing to do with the stealing itself. If you really want to respond to the stolen seat, respond in 2018, respond with your vote, don’t protest a perfectly good nomination because of anger from a stolen seat. Please don’t think that I am simplifying all protests to unreasonable anger as there are perfectly good reasons to dislike Gorsuch. However, all things considered, he is an excellent nomination for the President we currently have. As I said before thank you for listening, and please leave your opinion in the comments below.