How time flies when you’re having fun.
Has it really been a year?
Yes, on April 10, 2017, Neil Gorsuch was sworn in as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Remember, Gorsuch only was nominated for the Scalia seat because Merrick Garland, Obama’s nominee, was not given a Senate hearing much less vote (it’s highly unlikely he would have been confirmed by the Republican Senate even if given a vote).
Mitch McConnell recently commented that stymying the Garland nomination was the “most consequential” decision of his career.
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane.
We were there for the nomination:
And the fury and thunder of Democrats and the media:
I observed at the time, Gorsuch nomination creates “community within our nation, chaos in theirs”:
The nomination of Neil Gorsuch is a perfect example of “community within our nation, chaos in theirs”.
This was a home run for conservatives. Even many Never Trumpers are praising it. It’s a thing of beauty, and the rollout was Yuge.
But it has created chaos in Trump’s opponents. There have been many high profile liberal lawyers and commenters who have praised the selection, even if they are still bitter over the Republican refusal to give Merrick Garland a vote during Obama’s last year. While many leading Democratic politicians have open the floodgates of verbal hell on Gorsuch, it’s going to be a hard sell to the public. And it risks a real schism in the Democratic Party — the base is out for blood, the more mature political class recognizes that catering to the base on Gorsuch could backfire by pushing the party too far left….
…. I appeared on The Steve Malzberg Show on Newsmax TV:
It’s a homerun at multiple levels … He should be Scalia 2.0, which is the terminology a lot of the leftist critiques are using …. Politically it’s an even more brilliant move, because the Democrats are absolutely itching for a fight on this first nomination, and Donald Trump picked somebody who has impeccable credentials, who is getting praise even from liberal law professors. This is the fight Democrats want, but I’m not sure it’s really the fight they need …. So at multiple levels this was a brilliant choice.
We covered his confirmation hearings:
- RECAP: Day 1, Neil Gorsuch SCOTUS Confirmation Hearings
- WATCH: Day 2 Neil Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings, Morning Session
- WATCH LIVE: Day 3 of Neil Gorsuch Senate Confirmation Hearing
Including the pathetic Democrat “gotcha” attempts during the hearings:
We laughed when Democrats threatened a filibuster:
Forcing Republicans to go nuclear for a highly qualified nominee like Gorsuch would be ultimately stupid for Democrats. Since there is likely to be at least one more, maybe more, openings during the Trump administration, going nuclear and eliminating the filibuster would clear the way for nominees the Democrats would find even more objectionable. There would be no reason for Republicans to hold back at all.
I’m not sure the Republican Party ever has been united. There always were factions at odds with each other and at each other’s throats.
It reminds me of the Tom Lehrer song National Brotherhood Week, paraphrasing:
Well the RINOs hate the Tea Party, and the Tea Party hates the Neocons, and the Neocons hate libertarians, and everybody hates D.C.
Whatever momentary, purely superficial unity was created by the Trump presidential win and the hold of the Senate and House quickly evaporated during the Obamacare repeal and replace battle.
It’s civil war again in the Republican Party.
So what we need is something to unite around, something that is a clear victory.
And Chuck Schumer is just the guy to give it to us. He’s been blustering for a filibuster of Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Gorsuch is so clearly qualified, so clearly should be approved, so clearly is an intellectual giant compared to Sotomayor and Kagan, who sailed through, that Republicans have been making clear we are ready to go Nuclear Option.
We were there when Republicans went nuclear:
And when the Senate voted to confirm:
We also were there for the swearing in:
We continue to get great pleasure from the nomination, such as when the NY Times Editorial Board Emits Primal Scream Over Neil Gorsuch:
Last fall we surveyed how things were going and concluded, Seven Months Later it’s Clear: Trump Made Great Choice in Neil Gorsuch.
Looking back at the first year, it’s clear that Gorsuch was the right choice.
The Judicial Crisis Network’s Carrie Severino provided the following assessment to Legal Insurrection:
Justice Gorsuch’s track record shows he is fulfilling President Trump’s promise to appoint someone who would interpret the Constitution and the law as they are written, not based on his own personal beliefs or political views. Gorsuch has kept his own promise to be “a faithful servant” of the Constitution.
In his written opinions, Gorsuch has demonstrated his commitment to the Constitution. In cases spanning from religious liberty to the right to bear arms, Gorsuch has consistently argued in defense of Americans’ constitutional rights.
In the high-profile case Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, Gorsuch joined the majority in the 7-2 ruling that the state could not deny a church a public benefit merely due to its religious nature. He also wrote a concurring opinion, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, calling for broad protections for religious liberty.
He has also joined opinions lamenting the Court’s neglect of the Second Amendment and has repeatedly emphasized the duty of judges to hold government agencies to the same standards they use for other litigants and not to undermine our constitutional structure by giving them a free pass.
During an address to the Federalist Society’s Lawyers Convention Annual Dinner last year, Gorsuch declared that originalism “has regained its place at the table of constitutional interpretation, and textualism in the reading of statutes has triumphed. And neither one is going anywhere on my watch.”
Gorsuch also told the Federalist Society audience that it is a judge’s duty “to say what the law is, not what it should be,” making clear that he understands the proper role of a judge.
Trump’s promise to appoint a worthy successor to Justice Scalia helped him become the forty-fifth president of the United States. An exit poll from the 2016 presidential election showed that 22 percent of voters said Supreme Court appointments were the most important factor in their decision to support a candidate, and another 48 percent said appointments were an important factor. Trump recognized what voters wanted in a Supreme Court nominee: a jurist who embraces originalism and textualism, not a liberal activist legislating from the bench.
Congratulations to Justice Gorsuch on a great first year. Here’s to many more.
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