(Gorsuch) “I will exercise the care and consideration, due precedent, that a good judge is supposed to”.
Watching the Senate confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, one might easily find oneself wishing he were president of the United States.
Democrats including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are demanding a pause in Gorsuch’s confirmation process pending the FBI investigation of alleged ties between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian Federation.
“That’s not what judges do”, he continued. “They don’t do it at that end of Pennsylvania Ave”, Gorsuch said.
Lindsey Graham of SC lamented what he called the deterioration of the Senate confirmation process since Antonin Scalia, whose seat Gorsuch would fill, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg were confirmed with more than 90 votes each. “I was a lawyer”.
Leahy also noted Gorsuch has strong support from Trump senior counselor Stephen Bannon, whom the senator accused of “giving a platform to extremists and misogynists and racists”.
“I don’t speak for Justice Scalia”, he said.
Thus, it is on this philosophical fulcrum, more than on any other, that senators should examine Judge Gorsuch’s thinking.
Klobuchar told Gorsuch that requiring educational standards to be merely more than “de minimus”, or minimal, creates more of a ceiling than a floor for students. It was a very different time when the original Originalist, Justice Antonin Scalia, was confirmed with 98 votes and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the “bastion of liberalism on the Court”, received 96 votes. “He went on to argue that he was bound by circuit precedent – a case called Urban v. Jefferson County – to rule as he had, and that it represented a decision with which he disagreed but felt bound by case law to reach”. Gorsuch said he would keep an open mind about the concept. Presidential powers, torture, abortion.
“Would the president have the authority to ban all Jews from America?” “We have courts to decide these cases for a reason- to resolve these disputes”. “I don’t think it’s OK”. “But it’s not our job to answer questions like that”.
The nominee is also likely to be quizzed on whether he is sufficiently independent from President Trump, who has lambasted judges for ruling against his bid to restrict travel from certain Muslim-majority nations.
“Today, the Supreme Court repudiated Judge Gorsuch’s IDEA decisions and overwhelmingly rejected his reading of the law”, said Lily Eskelsen García, the president of the National Education Association, in a statement.
“That’s the rule of law in this country”, Gorsuch said.
“Judge, please. I am not suggesting that”, Durbin replied tartly.
Noting that Trump’s election was supposed to be about the little guy, Franken added that Democrats were trying to figure out whether they’d see a continuation of bias toward big money “where the weight shifts against the little guy and for the big guy. Thus, don’t be fooled by Gorsuch’s claim that Obergefell is ‘settled law’”.
Mitch McConnell and his troops are building the foundation for a move to kill off any Democratic effort to filibuster the Gorsuch nomination. Senate Republican leaders a year ago chose not to vote on then-President Barack Obama’s nominee for the court, Judge Merrick Garland.
Following Graham, Democratic Sen.
“My colleagues, the Democrats, have a right to engage in whatever attacks they chose”.
But the rancor allowed Gorsuch himself an opening to paint himself as a calm unifier, who pledged to use the high court to “apply the law in the people’s disputes” and not “to make new laws”.
“Why anybody in this body would vote against you, I’ll never understand”, Hatch said later. That, in turn, would escalate the partisan rancor of a confirmation process that has already shown, said Sen. Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican.
Graham cited Democrats’ fruitless efforts to tease out Gorsuch’s positions on various hot-button topics.
“What’s happened? Did the Constitution change?”