Why the Left Really Doesn’t Want Gorsuch

Gorsuch: “Well it’s not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing, Senator, respectfully, it’s a matter of it being the law. And my job is to apply and enforce the law.”

The Democrats didn’t want him. Well, not now. They did when he was confirmed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals by unanimous voice vote a decade ago. Lawyer, professor, author, and Judge Neil Gorsuch was the ideal candidate for the judgeship when he was nominated in 2006, with many of the same senators in the room. In fact, some of the biggest names in today’s Democratic Party were with him all those years ago. Among them, former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, former Sen. Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, ranking member of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Gorsuch, due to the fact that he was once nominated with so much  support that a written vote was not even bothered with, should have faced little to no opposition when the time came for his ascendancy to the nation’s highest court. Why, then, did the Democrats in the Senate stage a filibuster, and force the Republicans to use the Nuclear Option?

On the surface, many made it about Merrick Garland, the Obama nomination for whom the Senate never held a hearing. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), who was one of the Democrats to confirm Gorsuch eleven years ago, went so far as to say that “No senator who believes individual rights are reserved to the people, not the government, can support Gorsuch’s nomination.” A bold move, considering that Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul (R-TX and R-KY), both vocal advocates of State and Individual Rights and fiery small government heroes, felt Gorsuch to be a prime choice. The Democrats, for the most part, stuck to the narrative that their opposition stems from the “unfair” treatment of Garland, whose nomination expire January 3rd, 2017.

Despite the fact that Chuck Schumer, current Senate Minority Leader, and a senator from New York, said in 2006 that “We should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court, except in extraordinary circumstances,” the Democrats stood firm on their opposition. Schumer criticized Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for his vow not to allow an Obama nominee a hearing, stating that “When you go right off the bat and say, ‘I don’t care who he nominates, I am going to oppose him,’ that’s not going to fly.” Schumer and the Democrats appear to miss the irony of juxtaposing Schumer in 2006 with Schumer in 2017, and went on to launch a filibuster anyway.

Assuming that it’s that simple, that it’s merely a grudge over Merrick Garland, is a mistake. The Democrats couldn’t care less that Garland didn’t get his hearing. They never expected he would. They did, however, understand the value of using his spurned nomination for the emotional appeal to their base. The real reason for their opposition to Gorsuch has nothing to do with Garland. President Trump would have had four years to nominate a new justice, and the Democrats could never shoot down every single one. Leaving the Supreme Court at eight Justices for that long would see them accused of anti-constitutional obstructionism and voted out of office in favor of more honest men and women. So why oppose Gorsuch so stiffly, knowing that they would eventually have to give into someone Trump nominates?

It all comes down to one phrase uttered by Marie Hirono (D-HI) during the hearings for Gorsuch. Senator Hirono said that her opposition to Gorsuch was based upon his affinity for “ideology over common sense.” The problem? Gorsuch’s ideology is the written law. He believes, rightly, that the role of a judge is to interpret the written law, and that if Congress does not write laws that take into account so called common sense, “it’s up to legislators to legislate. If they do not, that isn’t [his] fault.” The entirety of our judicial history and the role of a judge are encompassed in those simple words. Justices are not meant to legislate. They are not meant to judge morality or emotion; it is their sole purpose to interpret the way in which written law should be applied to each individual case. Where does Neil Gorsuch get this novel idea for how the judiciary is supposed to function, and why does it terrify the Democrats? The answers are both simple.

For the first one, it’s the Constitution. “The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behavior, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.” Article 3, Section 1 of the United States Constitution vests Judicial Power in one Supreme Court. Judicial Power is defined by LawDictionary.com as the Authority, both constitutional and legal, given to the courts and its judges (1) to preside over and render judgment on court-worthy cases; (2) to enforce or void statutes and laws when scope or constitutionality are questioned; (3) and to interpret statutes and laws when disputes arise. The only judicial power granted by the Constitution is the power to decide who is right and wrong according to the law. The concept of judicial review, which has been used by the Left repeatedly to further their political agenda, does not actually exist per the Constitution. The answer to the second question is also simple, and was made obvious during the following exchange between Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Neil Gorsuch regarding the late Antonin Scalia’s opinion on the DC v. Heller decision:

Feinstein: “No, I am just asking you do you agree with his [Scalia’s] statement, yes or no?”

Gorsuch: “Are the statements out of the Heller decision from the United States?”

Feinstein: “Justice Scalia’s statement…”

Gorsuch: “Well whatever is in Heller, is the law and I follow the law.”

Feinstein: “So you agree with it?”

Gorsuch: “Well it’s not a matter of agreeing or disagreeing, Senator, respectfully, it’s a matter of it being the law. And my job is to apply and enforce the law.”

Gorsuch’s final statement is why the Democrats do not want him, or anyone like him. With a textualist, or an originalist, on the court, the ability of the Left to legislate via the Supreme Court is severely diminished. With a Republican majority in both houses, a Republican (in name) President, and originalists added to the court, the regressive Left’s attempts to fabricate a welfare state with draconian free speech regulations, will be stymied for years to come. Essentially, the Democrats do not like Gorsuch because he will force them to play by the rules the Congress writes, and that will be a hard road for the party that rigged an election to put a liar on the ballot.

Aidan Mattis is a student at Pennsylvania State University.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *