Why is it that most liberal Supreme Court nominees, Elana Kagan comes to mind, are typically vetted by the senate and are then approved reasonably expeditiously.* Sure, some GOP members felt compelled to vote against her nomination, but given that she replaced another left-leaning justice, most Republican senators did not hyperventilate. They acted like adults, entered a debate, and then acquiesced to the president's nominee.
Fast forward to Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch. He replaces another conservative court member, so the balance of the court is unaffected. He has impressive credentials and was approved to the federal bench by unanimous Senate vote. But now—he's the devil.
Carrie Severino comments:
This is really getting old. I refer, of course, to the left’s now ritualized hysteria over Republican Supreme Court nominees.As the never-ending Democrat tantrum over their upset election lose continues, it looks like the Dems in the Senate have embraced "ritualized hysteria." Rather than picking their fights, they and their supporters spend millions of dollars as well as their limited political capital opposing Gorsuch (not to mention Trump's cabinet appointees), not with intelligent debate, but using what the left always uses when it can't win an argument—demonization. Their problem is that to the public outside the coasts, this looks petty and infantile—maybe that's because that is exactly what it is.
The hysterical opposition has almost nothing to do with the particular nominee a Republican president names. After all, left-wing groups once attacked David Souter and Anthony Kennedy with the same fervor they are now employing against Judge Neil Gorsuch. And Democratic senators were promising to filibuster even before they knew who the nominee would be.
The “radical” Gorsuch, don’t you know, is a threat to safe water, food, drugs, consumers, investors and workers, an "affront to all who care about women's health and rights and about stopping discrimination." The Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals judge will also roll back "protections for women's access to health services" and has shown "a disturbing attitude toward police brutality and workplace anti-discrimination laws."
The left’s response to a nominee of Gorsuch’s caliber makes plain that the issue in their confirmation battles is not the judge. How could it be? The Senate unanimously confirmed this graduate of Columbia, Harvard Law and Oxford University to the appellate court just ten years ago. His opinions there have been models of precision and erudition, principle and collegiality. Small wonder that liberals who know him, like Neal K. Katyal, President Obama’s former acting solicitor general, are making the case for Gorsuch's confirmation.
No, all the hysteria is about the proper role of judges – and how judges should judge – in our system of government.
* Please, spare me the argument that Merrick Garland was not considered during the previous president's last year in office. This approach represents long standing precedent and was espoused by prominent Democrats such a Joe Biden when GOP presidents were in office.