As expected, President Donald Trump has selected conservative federal judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court that was created by the death of Antonin Scalia and the absurd and outrageous blockade of President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, by the Senate throughout almost all of 2016.
As noted below and in this morning’s edition of the Weekly Briefing, there are myriad reasons to be gravely concerned about this nomination — not the least of which is Trump himself and the utter disregard for (and ignorance of) the Constitution that he has demonstrated throughout his public life and first days in office. This is from the Weekly Briefing:
“It is, in other words, a make or break moment that goes right to the heart of the future of the republic and quite likely the single most important episode in the fight against Trumpism in 2017.
This is not about the nominee, whoever it turns out to be (though, it seems worth noting that any person who would accept a Trump nomination is supremely suspect). It is, rather about Trump and his questionable presidency and whether the American people and their elected representatives will force this immoral and dishonest man to play by the established rules of our democracy.”
But even if one sets aside Trump’s serial dishonesty, recklessness and even the possible illegitimacy of his presidency, Gorsuch’s nomination is a dangerous development for several other reasons related only to the nominee himself and is worth fighting. The most notable and important is that he is a committed right-wing ideologue and an extremist disciple of Antonin Scalia who takes a cramped and backward-looking view of the Constitution.
In such a time of national division — a time in which a sizable majority of Americans voted against Trump for president out of opposition to his ideology — it is simply wrong and unacceptable that Trump would do anything other than select a moderate with bipartisan appeal for this vital position.
And though he is full of polish and soft edges in public, Gorsuch is a hard-line advocate for the far right on any number of critical constitutional issues — from reproductive freedom to the right of the people to control giant corporations and corporate greed to environmental protection to LGBT rights. None of this is any particular wonder given that Gorsuch was essentially groomed and handpicked for the job by the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, two right-wing organizations funded by oil billionaires Charles and David Koch.
As the always insightful Ian Millhiser of the Center for American Progress writes:
“There will no doubt be much celebration at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and at Koch Industries if Gorsuch is confirmed. Women, workers, voters, and the Earth itself will have less to celebrate.”
The bottom line: Let’s hope fervently that Americans continue the uprising of recent days and: a) tell Trump loudly and clearly “no way, no how” on his extremist nominee for a stolen seat and b) send him back to the drawing board to produce a dramatically different and acceptable nominee.