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

Wednesday, February 01, 2017


The battle over Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee has begun. Federal Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is Trump's choice, and in this case, the new president's pick is a very good one. Gorsuch has an impressive legal CV, is said to oppose the expansion of executive privilege (something that should sound very good to Democrats), and is a constitutional scholar in the Antonin Scalia mold. Of course, the left-wing outrage machine began its lament within seconds of the announcement: Gorsuch is "out of the mainstream" (meaning he is not liberal Justice Elena Kagin or Ruth Bader-Ginsberg), he's "extreme and dangerous," he's to take a "stolen seat", referring to the GOP's political decision (with much precedent) not to allow the past president to nominate a justice in his last year in office), and of course—Trump! Note the preprinted signs in the photo below—obviously a grass roots response :)

But the Dems better be careful. The Washington Post, surely not a friend to Donald Trump, provides some adult advice to the Democrats, many of whom are now officially unhinged. They wrote this yesterday, before the nominee was announced:
Emotionally satisfying as [Senator] ... Merkley’s approach [a filibuster for four full years to ensure that Trump appointed no one] might be, it would be mistaken. We say this not because it is contrary to the Democrats’ own best interests, though that is probably true, too: Filling the former Scalia seat won’t tip the court’s ideological balance, yet provoking Republicans to resort to the filibuster-abolishing “nuclear option” would leave Democrats disarmed of that weapon against a second Trump pick should another vacancy arise during his presidency.

Our objection is rooted, rather, in our belief that the Supreme Court confirmation process needs to be protected from partisan politics to the greatest extent possible and that a scorched-earth Democratic response to any nominee, regardless of the individual merits, would simply deepen that harmful politicization. Yes, Mr. Trump seeks to fill the court’s vacancy to his liking, on the basis of a thin electoral college-only victory. Still, however narrow, his victory was legitimate and he does have the clear constitutional prerogative to make the choice.

Let Mr. Trump do so. Then let the Senate expeditiously but thoroughly probe that nominee on his or her legal qualifications, as well as jurisprudence. And then let the Senate vote — yes or no. We advocated that approach consistently for the past five nominees to the Supreme Court, going back to 2005. This group includes two Republican picks — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Alito — and three Democratic ones — Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, and Mr. Garland. It is a formidable list; we hope Mr. Trump nominates someone worthy of joining their company.
WaPo's advice is appropriate. It's mature and well-reasoned, and I hope that the Democrats follow it. But there's so much unfocused  and unhinged anger, I'm not sure they will.

I was opposed when Harry Reed invoked the nuclear option that allowed Democrats (who believed they would be in power forever) to ram lower court nominees through the Senate. I am equally opposed to the nuclear option when applied to a Supreme Court nominee. But then again, the Democrats are currently so angry, they just might try to follow the path of a filibuster for four full years to ensure that Trump appoints no one. If that happens, the GOP will likely go nuclear. I'm against that move in principle, but I will understand the reasons for the nuclear option (thank Harry Reed) if the Dems become true "obstructionists"—a dirty word to them until they lost power.

David Rivkin and Andrew Grossman provide a detailed analysis of Neil Gorsuch's legal viewpoint and opinions. It is highly complementary and will give you a good understanding of the man and his approach as a judge. Read the whole thing.