The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Political Theater

After almost 60 days of mass protests, pussy hats, hysteria on subjects ranging from healthcare to cutting funding for the EPA or the UN, and unhinged claims that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to cause the defeat of the sainted Hillary Clinton, more political theater begins today. The Senate begins its confirmation hearings on Neil Gorsuch for a seat on the Supreme Court. The editors of The Wall Street Journal comment:
The Senate begins confirmation hearings for Neil Gorsuch Monday, and the image to keep in mind is professional wrestling. Democrats have dug up so little on the supremely qualified Supreme Court nominee that they’ll be huffing and puffing and pretending to body slam the judge around the hearing room. It’s mostly political theater.

Progressives frustrated at the judge’s stellar record are pressuring Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to turn the hearings into the next show of political resistance to President Trump. In a recent letter to Democratic Senators, groups including abortion activists, and the Service Employees International Union called Judge Gorsuch an “unacceptable nominee” and demanded the nomination meet a 60-vote threshold.

“Democrats have failed to demonstrate a strong, unified resistance to this nominee despite the fact that he is an ultra-conservative jurist who will undermine our basic freedoms and threaten the independence of the federal judiciary,” the groups wrote. By “basic freedoms” they must not mean free speech, religious liberty or gun rights that Judge Gorsuch has upheld.

Mr. Schumer has responded by posing with flexed muscles, but he makes a lousy CM Punk. Mr. Gorsuch “may act like a neutral, calm judge” and “he expresses a lot of empathy and sympathy for the less powerful,” the Democratic leader said last week, but in reality the judge “harbors a right-wing, pro-corporate, special-interest agenda.”
Oh my. In the fantasy world of Chuck Schumer and many other Dems, it's perfectly okay for a judge to be left-wing, anti-corporate, and side with special interests that have the Left's stamp of approval. But intellectual consistency is not a hallmark of the opposition party in 2017.

Gorsuch is eminently qualified for the Supreme Court. He fills a "conservative" seat, so his appointment would not be a loss for the Dems. They would be far better served to keep their powder dry and save the real fight for the replacement of, say, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But that's not how they roll. Because—#resistance.


Carrie Severino comments on Gorsuch's legal opinions:
Democrats also complain that Judge Gorsuch’s textualist approach to the law, by which he interprets laws according to their plain meaning as written, makes him a judicial radical. In fact, Judge Gorsuch clearly swims in the mainstream of American jurisprudence. According to one study, 98% of the opinions he wrote for the Tenth Circuit have been unanimous, even though that court tilts to the left. Seven out of twelve of its active judges were appointed by Democrats.

What’s more, his opinions have been unanimously upheld by the Supreme Court four times. These numbers show that he’s a consensus builder, which is why the Senate confirmed him to the federal bench by voice vote in 2006. It’s why his nomination has received support from many liberals, including a former acting solicitor general in the Obama administration. And it’s why the American Bar Association has twice given him its highest rating.
Last time I checked, the ABA leans decidedly left, so rating Gorsuch so highly indicates that he is an exceptional judge and intellect.

But no matter, a great legal mind from Harvard violently opposes him.

This morning, Elizabeth Warren wrote an anti-Gorsuch screed in The Boston Globe that makes her sound like what she is—a broken record (sorry for the anachronistic reference). Rather than making an substantive argument against Gorsuch she writes:
Over the past three decades — as the rich have gotten richer and middle-class families have been left behind — the scales of justice have been weighted further and further in favor of the wealthy and the powerful. That tilt is not an accident. It’s the result of a deliberate strategy by powerful interests to turn our courts over to the highest bidder.

Its effects have been devastating. Recent court decisions have let giant corporations that cheated their consumers off the hook, unleashed a flood of secret money into the political process, and made it easier for businesses to abuse and discriminate against their employees.
Of course, Warren's tired "solution" to this is to give centralized government intrusive power to control "big business," and in so doing, to wreck our once robust economy. She advocates judges who ignore laws they do not agree with or interpret laws in a way that stacks the deck again one litigant over another. Actually, the same socialist sentiment was espoused by Hugo Chavez and Nicholas Maduro in Venezuela. How has that worked out for the people of that country?