It’s Neil Gorsuch!

From FoxNews:

President Trump on Tuesday night announced federal Judge Neil Gorsuch as his choice for the Supreme Court, in his highest-profile nomination to date – and one sure to touch off a fierce Senate debate in the weeks ahead.

Touting his nominee’s credentials and legal mind, the president said he was living up to his own vow during the campaign to nominate someone who respects the law and “loves” the Constitution.

“Judge Gorsuch has outstanding legal skills, a brilliant mind, tremendous discipline and has earned bipartisan support,” Trump said, noting he was confirmed unanimously to his current judicial post.

Gorsuch, 49, has served on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver for more than a decade.

Trump’s choice, if confirmed to the high court, would take the seat that has remained vacant since Justice Antonin Scalia died nearly a year ago. The nominee was among Trump’s original list of 21 potential choices circulated during the presidential campaign.

Many have anticipated a fierce confirmation battle, including a filibuster as some Democrats have vowed; however, talk around town has it that the Dems may back off this time:

Washington (CNN) Senate Democrats are weighing whether to avoid an all-out war to block President Donald Trump’s upcoming Supreme Court pick, instead considering delaying that battle for a future nomination that could shift the ideological balance of the court, sources say.

Democrats privately discussed their tactics during a closed-door retreat in West Virginia last week. And a number of Democrats are trying to persuade liberal firebrands to essentially let Republicans confirm Trump’s pick after a vigorous confirmation process — since Trump is likely to name a conservative to replace the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

The reason for the tactic: Republicans are considering gutting the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees if Democrats stay largely united and block Trump’s first pick. By employing the so-called “nuclear option,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could move to reduce the threshold for clearing a filibuster from 60 votes to 51 votes.

That would mean Democrats could lose leverage in the next Supreme Court fight if Trump were to replace a more liberal justice, since the GOP now has 52 seats in the Senate.

Preserving the filibuster now could give Democrats more leverage in the future, proponents of this strategy say. But it would enrage the Democratic base that wants a furious Democratic response to Trump’s court pick.

Moreover, many Democrat-held Senate seats will be contested in 2018, with several Democratic senators running in states that Trump won. Even some insane liberals sober up when election time swings around, and given the Senate’s unanimous approval of Gorsuch to his current position on the Tenth Circuit, it’ll be hard for Democrats to paint him as an extremist.
A former moderator on these boards vowed never to vote for Trump. We countered that voting for Trump at least gave conservatives a chance to retain the Supreme Court. He criticized that as misguided because Trump was too unreliable to be trusted. We can all breathe a sigh of relief that Trump has proven a man of his word. Agree or disagree, he’s done his dead-level best to keep his promises.
Kudos to President Trump and congratulations to Judge Neil Gorsuch.
Donald Trump is a monster!
Democrat Congressman: "Trump is not normal."
  • jim_m

    This was the right pick on many levels.

    Gorsuch has a unanimous ABA rating of qualified. The ABA is far from conservative. He received unanimous approval for the appellate court. He has never stirred any conflict from the left even though he has written basically conservative rulings. He has a record of rulings being upheld by SCOTUS and that bodes well as an indicator of a man who thinks his opinions through and constructs them in a way that will be upheld by the higher court.

    Nevertheless, the dems will filibuster him. They have already declared that they will before he was nominated. Their blatant, mindless obstruction gives the GOP every reason to kill the filibuster. By telegraphing their intent they have revealed that their opposition is not base in any factual grounds but are strictly ideological and are not founded on the nominee but on Trump.

    By nominating what is the closest thing to a “mainstream” conservative, trump has boxed in the dems and induced them to commit an unforced error. They are now committed to opposing a nominee that is generally acceptable and by attempting to kill his nomination they leave the GOP with only more extreme choice in response.

    It becomes very easy for the GOP to kill the filibuster because they can simply say, “This was the least objectionable of all conservative choices and he is replacing a very conservative justice. There is no reason to oppose him except for partisan extremism and if that is the case there is no nominee that can ever be confirmed.”

    They are free to kill the filibuster and the next nominee will be someone like Pryor who the left would have legitimately have an objection to based on his previous comments on Roe v Wade.

    • Since he was unanimously confirmed to his judgeship on the 10th circuit, we can and should beat up every Senator who voted for him before who comes out against him now. We should also pull the Nuclear Option trigger now.

      • Retired military

        I agree. I would love to shove the nuclear option up their ass and pull it.

    • Retired military

      He was approved unamonously (spelling too lazy to look it up) by the Senate before to include Schumer, and Obama.
      I don’t see the dems fighting too hard on this one. It will be the next SCOTUS pick (hopefully Ginsberg or Breyer) that will be the nuclear war. Ginsberg is 83 and falling asleep during oral arguments. If Roberts increases the work load then she may call it quits rather than dying on the job. Once Gorsush is on the job a year or so then Kennedy who was his mentor may call it quits and that would be during the 2018 election cycle which would cause turn out to shoot up if his replacement isn’t in place prior to the election.
      The dems, in their hair on fire every day cycle, are going to start pissing people off with neverending and increasingly violent protests.

  • pennywit

    Democrats should certainly question him and hold his feet to the fire during the confirmation process — as they should for any SCOTUS nominee. But don’t filibuster this one. Hell, I’d say don’t even vote against him. By all accounts, he’s qualified, and a second Trump nominee would not be “acceptable” in liberal eyes.

    • jim_m

      You’re exactly right on this one. Which is why the dems will be unable to control themselves and will reflexively oppose him. They will seek to push Trump to the extreme.

      Why would they do that? Because they have committed to the position that Trump is a fascist dictatorship and the only vindication for them is to force him into the most extreme positions possible. Gorsuch is entirely reasonable which is why he must be opposed at any cost.

    • Retired military

      Over at DU they are pushing for a scorched earth policy and making McConnell use the nuclear option. I am all for McConnell using it as the dems will use it the next time they are in power the same as Reid used it to a degree the last time he was in power. Republicans want to play nice when it is a dem president whose nominee is being considered. The dems never want to reciporate. If anyone had told me this time last year that McConnell would have held out on Garfield I would have taken bets against it.
      But then maybe McConnell figured if he had given in then he would have been lost the majority and maybe been booted out of office himself. Self preservation is key for long term politicians.

      • jim_m

        If I were the dems I would force McConnell to kill the filibuster. Mainly because I don’t believe he has the guts or the support form the spineless GOPe to actually do it. The GOPe would rather let this nomination fail than stand up for conservative principle.

        Then the dems will cry about how fascist the GOP is for the next 8 years. That is what they want. As has been pointed out, the dems have spent 8 years weaponizing the federal government never anticipating that the GOP would ever hold the reins of power because the left claimed that they had achieved a permanent majority in 2008 that would last for the next 2 generations at lest.

        • jim_m

          Just saw that Orin Hatch of all people just killed the rule in his committee that requires the presence of Democrats to be present to pass on the nomination to the full Senate. If Hatch is willing to kill the bipartisan rules then there is actually hope that the GOPe will finally stand up and be counted on the side of conservatives.

          • Scalia

            Yes, Democratic hissy-fits have finally pushed some Establishment members too far. It’s bare-knuckle time.

          • WHO’S THE BUSTER

            You guys do realize you won, correct?

          • Scalia

            I’m talking about the Senate. Yes, we won there too, but your beloved Democrats through their ridiculous delay tactics are putting a backbone in the dreaded Establishment Republicans.

            There’s such a thing as losing gracefully. You should recommend it to your Democratic friends.

          • Scalia

            What the Democrats would like to do is cow us into submission or intimidate us to be more “moderate” in order to blunt our initiative. It’s time we make the Democrats live by their own standards.

          • Nope. Oregon Muse at Ace nails it:

            I remember back in the old days, public conversations between liberals and conservatives usually went something like this:

            1. liberal: says something
            2. conservative: responds
            3. liberal: you’re a racist | sexist | bigot | pejorative du jour
            4a. conservative: I am not a racist | sexist | bigot | pejorative du jour
            4b. conservative attempts to give evidence for statement 4a.
            5. liberal: not good enough
            6. Goto step 3

            The New Model:

            Many conservatives simply don’t care anymore. Warden’s excellent piece earlier this week makes this clear. The new, Trump-era “honey badger conservative” playbook appears to be this:

            1. conservative: says something
            2. liberal: you’re a racist | sexist | bigot | pejorative du jour
            3. conservative: fuck you.

            Somewhere, Andrew Breitbart is smiling.

          • Hank_M

            Open blogger, also at Ace, elaborated on this last evening.
            He/she too, nails it.

            http://ace.mu.nu/archives/368213.php

            “During the Obama years, we saw a radical shift. No longer were the Tom Delays and the Rush Limbaughs of the world the exclusive targets of what Bill Clinton labeled “the politics of personal destruction.” Your average citizen was now in the cross hairs as well.

            I first became aware of this during the Joe the Plumber episode when the media relentlessly attacked a citizen simply for asking, on his own property where Barack Obama was a guest, a question that happened to make their Boy-King look silly.”

            As they say, read the whole thing.

          • We’ve only just begun…

          • Hank_M

            Hatch? I’m impressed.

            As for the dems, I see their Wisconsin tactics weren’t an aberration.
            They were a blueprint.

          • Retired military

            Hatch did this out of self preservation as well. He knows that the right is pissed off and fed up and instead of wearing pussy hats we tend to show our displeasure at the ballot box. If they want to keep their comfy jobs they had better start acting like they have a pair. They don’t have any excuses anymore and they know it.

        • That’s why I say nuke it now before the hearings. Don’t let the jackasses drive the issue.

      • Scalia

        For whatever the reason, McConnell deserves credit for standing firm on principle with respect to Garland. I thought he would cave, but he was resolute. There’s hope yet!

        • Retired military

          As I said. I think McConnell did what he did out of self preservation more than anything else.

  • Par4Course

    Trump’s actions will not always be to conservatives’ liking but it is hard to fault the selection of Judge Gorsuch for SCOTUS. He is an originalist in the tradition of Justice Scalia, as Trump promised he would be. Trump and the GOP Senators know this is important; Gorsuch is worth fighting tooth and nail for. With his sterling credentials, if he can’t get confirmed, no one Trump picks will.

  • TheyTukRJobz

    I don’t really view such picks as favoring conservatives, per se, but as favoring keeping the Constitution as supreme law of the land, untrammeled by the petty political personal desires that so animate the left-wing “living Constitution” jurists who have done so much damage to this nation and the rule of law over the decades.

    Sadly, I fear these are more rearguard battles at this point; the left has infected too many people with their diseased idiocy of wanting to be taken care of by an all-powerful centralized government

    • Retired military

      “as favoring keeping the Constitution as supreme law of the land,”
      Anything that does that generally favors conservatives much more so than liberals.

      • TheyTukRJobz

        True that, but the implication that it favors conservatives sounds like a political favoring, which I reject.

        It favors conservatives because conservatives and other creatures of the right base their political beliefs upon the Constitution, and align with the enumerated duties of government and limitations on government contained in that document.

        This is compared to the political voting we have seen from liberal judges, who ignore the plain language and limits of the Constitution to create and grant extra-constitutional powers to the federal government to advance a political belief.

        Constitutional originalism does not advance a political belief, even if it favors the right.

  • pennywit

    Further thoughts:

    I definitely would have preferred for the Senate to act on Merrick Garland’s nomination last year (hold hearings, vote yea or nay). I thought the Senate’s decision not to act was an abdication of its responsibility. But that doesn’t mean I want that kind of misbehavior from Senate Democrats.

    (Sidebar: In retrospect, Obama should have withdrawn Garland’s nomination after a couple months, then put up another nominee … then withdraw that, then put up another nominee. Make Republicans reject them each of them in the media, then paint it as Republicans not caring about the court, blah blah blah. But that’s political stunting, not germane here).

    As far as Gorsuch himself goes … he’s not the sort of nominee I’d prefer. IMO, the law suffers because the Supreme Court is extremely homogeneous. The Supreme Court pretty much comprises individuals with a background in large law firms and federal appellate advocacy or the federal judiciary (at the appellate level) and who were educated at Harvard or Yale. I think SCOTUS would benefit from having a justice who went to (HORRORS!) Stanford and with a background in trial-level advocacy, preferably as a criminal defense attorney or with a heaping helping of representing indigent clients.

    The law looks very different from that perspective than from that of a circuit judge, I think.

    PS. If he’s a Dallas Cowboys fan, then Gorsuch should absolutely be filibustered.

    • Scalia

      As far as Gorsuch himself goes … he’s not the sort of nominee I’d prefer. IMO, the law suffers because the Supreme Court is extremely homogeneous.

      Please expand on this. For me, it doesn’t matter where a person comes from. I’m concerned about that person’s underlying philosophy. If a person is committed to textualism, h/er geography is irrelevant. A text will be interpreted by its definition at the time it was enacted and how it was understood, whether the jurist graduated from Stanford (Rehnquist’s alma mater) or Harvard.

      For me, it’s enough that a jurist understands that h/er role is to uphold the law, not twist it to fit h/er political preferences.

      • pennywit

        Please expand on this. For me, it doesn’t matter where a person comes from. I’m concerned about that person’s underlying philosophy. If a person is committed to textualism, h/er geography is irrelevant. A text will be interpreted by its definition at the time it was enacted and how it was understood, whether the jurist graduated from Stanford (Rehnquist’s alma mater) or Harvard.

        I’m not looking at geography, per se, but professional background.

        • Scalia

          Well, perhaps you need to draw me a picture. How does “professional background” affect, say, textualism? So long as a person understands law and has a philosophy that enables said person to objectively interpret the law, what difference does it make what that person’s professional background is?

          • pennywit

            If you don’t mind a thought experiment, could you please tell me (without research) what the phrases “well-founded fear,” “persecution,” and “particular social group” mean to you?

          • Retired military

            Okay I will play.
            Well founded fear. A fear with a basis to it. IE You do something wrong at work which has pissed off your boss to the point that he is discussing firing you. You have a well founded fear of getting fired.
            Persecution. When someone comes after you for no good reason.
            particular social group. An association of people as defined by something. That something could be anything from belong to a particular political party or being part of red headed step children who follow Lady Gaga’s tweets on the curliness of her pubic hair.

        • Retired military

          In the heartland. Justices read law and determine if the legislature passed a constitutional piece of legislation and determines how what it says applies to the case before them.
          On the leftist coasts justices read laws and determines whether it falls within their belief system. If not then it is the justices job to rule for their belief system and change the wording or meaning of the law to fit their belief system.

          • Scalia

            That pretty well sums up the “living Constitution” approach.

        • jim_m

          Sounds like what you want us ideological uniformity. The current hallmark of the left is demanding a superficial diversity while enforcing a fascist level of group think.

          Last night’s Berkeley riots are the perfect example right down to the fascist street thugs beating up people who dare support ideas that the left deems taboo.

  • pennywit

    Indeed I am. But please, tell me, what do those terms mean to you?

    • Scalia

      In the context of our discussion, absolutely nothing. A textualist isn’t going to interpret the law any differently.

      • pennywit

        *Sigh*. OK, let me put a few more cards on the table. Under United States law, a person qualifies for asylum if he can demonstrate that in his home country he has suffered past persecution, or has a well-founded fear of future persecution, based on his race, religion, political opinion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group.

        Terms like “race,” “religion,” “political opinion,” and “nationality” seem pretty clear-cut, I think. But when writing the law, Congress did not bother to offer sufficient guideposts for what constitutes persecution, what constitutes a “well-founded fear,” or (ugh) what, exactly, a “particular social group” is.

        There are literally thousands of pages of agency rulings and case law on these terms, especially “particular social group.” I would argue that even if a person is a textualist, his professional background will inevitably color how he interprets these terms.

        • Scalia

          And a textualist would reply that the remedy belongs to the legislature. Bork addressed that very issue when he said that an ambiguous text is the substantive equivalent of an inkblot over the text. If a judge is unable to determine the meaning of a text as provided by the legislature, s/he is not entitled to substitute the legislature’s will with h/er own. Since a judge is not authorized to rule on an ambiguous text, it is up to the People through their elected representatives to resolve the issue.

          *Sigh*

          • pennywit

            In the abstract, I find “particular social group,” in particular, to be a troublesome, poorly defined phrase, and I wish the legislature would change it. For an advocate, the phrase “particular social group” is useful. And I don’t blame any asylum attorney who pounds that phrase for all it’s worth to help his client.

            But getting back to textualism. I disagree with the sort of textualism you espouse. If Congress, or the framers, puts a particular word or set of words into a statute or the Constitution, I think it is a judge’s job to interpret that word, and apply it to the situation in front of him.

            That’s why I prefer a diversity of professional backgrounds and judicial approaches at the appellate level. I seldom agree with Justice Thomas or Justice Scalia. But I firmly believe the law benefits from their perspectives.

          • Scalia

            I think it is a judge’s job to interpret that word, and apply it to the situation in front of him.

            This subjects the People’s will to the judge’s. It allows a judge to replace the People’s will with h/er own. Such an approach undermines the rule of law and infuses into the judiciary the illegitimate authority to rewrite law.

            If the law can mean whatever the judge says it means, we have no law; we have despotism.

          • pennywit

            Which is why you have multiple judges on appellate cases.

          • Scalia

            Multiple judges committed to textualism offer perspectives that enhance one’s ability to determine the meaning of a text. There may be differences of interpretation (as the differences between Scalia & Thomas attest), but that has little if nothing to do with professional background.

          • Scalia

            By the way, that’s a good textualist ruling. Besides, is a pizza a sandwich merely because the crust is “bread”? According to Panera, apparently so. I’m glad they lost.

          • pennywit

            I have a funny view of that case. I don’t blame Panera for litigating it. They were losing money to a competitor; if they had a colorable shot at a favorable interpretation of an ambiguous contract term, it was worth a shot. And the landlords, IMO, were entirely right to defend the claim, and I think the judge made the right ruling.

            The part that gets me is that each side paid an expert witness to submit affidavits on what constitutes a sandwich.

            (Also, it’s been a long time since I last got into contractual interpretation, but as I remember, the general rule is that ambiguous contract terms are interpreted against the person who drafted them).

          • Scalia

            Yes, as a general rule.

          • pennywit

            Besides, is a pizza a sandwich merely because the crust is “bread”?

            Depends … has the client’s check cleared?

          • pennywit

            PS. I was reading a law professor’s blog a few years back, and he posted a somewhat complex torts hypo he was using for his exam. I realized that the law student’s answer was to panic, reach for the Restatement on Torts, and carefully analyze each element of every possible tort and defense. Meanwhile, the lawyer’s answer would be, “Has the client paid a retainer yet?”

          • Retired military

            You mean multiple judges like Breyer, Ginserg, Sotomayer and Kagan?

          • Retired military

            The trouble is the liberal judge applies it by totally ignoring what is written and wants to rule based on their feelings.

            IE Ginsberg has made it very clear that when deciding cases SCOTUS should look to international law for guidance. Gee last time I checked that international law was not passed by Congress and signed by a President who are both answerable to voters.

        • Retired military

          Under US Law the President can also disallow any group or specific groups of people to include those by nationality to not be allowed into the US. The refusal of allowing them into the US can be defined by National security or otherwise.

          • pennywit

            well the founders couldn’t have taken into consideration machineguns and grenade launchers or even high powered weapons like the AR-15 and the amount of deaths they could cause.

            Noted liberal jurist Antonin Scalia:

            Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. … We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.”

          • Retired military

            True. At the same time he didn’t limit it to one shot muskets like the liberals proclaim is all that the constitution protects. He took into account the LAW which had been PASSED BY LEGISLATORS. He DID NOT state the LAW would be such and such (like libs did with abortion). He did state that the law in question was unconstitutional. It was up to the legislature to FIX the law to make it constitutional (by passing a new one or editing the current one). The case in question was Heller or Keller where the laws passed by DC were found to be in violation of the Constitution.

  • Paul Hooson

    He’ll be confirmed by the senate, and is a perfectly good mainstream conservative, but that is not to say that Merrick Garland was not treated fairly with his own nomination to the court obstructed on purely ideological grounds for nearly 300 days. Both men strike me as honest men of good character, who are worthy to be court members.

    As an interesting aside, Gorsuch would be the only Protestant court member, as five others are Catholics and three are Jewish.

    • jim_m

      No president has tried to appoint a Supreme Court Justice during an election year in over 80 years. 0bama wanted to do something that isn’t done. But the there is always a different set of rules for the affirmative action president, we can’t expect someone so incompetent to actually act like the 43 who came before him.

    • jim_m

      Or as Biden himself pointed out in 1992, Only 4 vacancies have ever come up in election years and none of them have been filled, and it woul greatly increase the contentiousness around a nominee to try to put someone on the court during an election.

      There is some truth to that. And if you listen to Biden and the ddems now (now that the shoe is on the other foot) the Biden Rule is just a bunch of partisan BS. That’s fine. Live by your own rules! The left wanted this when Bush was President. They would have done the same as the GOP if the roles were reversed.

      Gorsuch will be confirmed by the Senate on a party line vote after the filibuster is killed. If the GOP has any sense they will take the dem threats as reason enough to kill it and not even let the dems get that far. Dems are always saying that Trump needs to learn that words have meaning. They need to learn the same thing.

    • The Senate chose not to take up the lame duck President’s nomination, which is their perogative.

      • Paul Hooson

        Nearly one year seemed like an excessive timespan to me. I could understand 30 to 60 days before a new president, but nearly one year was excessive and unfair to Merrick Garland to have a fair hearing here. He did volunteer work at a Jewish charity and other good acts strongly suggesting that he is a man of good character and rather centrist in his views, more in the order of Justice Kennedy.

        • You’re complaining about “fair”? 62 going on 6? What has fair to do with politics?

          • Paul Hooson

            What’s a reasonable timespan to you that a nominee should be considered? I think nearly 300 days is excessive.

          • I approve of the Senate having ignored the former resident’s nominee.

          • Paul Hooson

            Well. let’s suppose Senate Democrats think that Trump is off to a rocky start or don’t like some of his nominees, and think that he may not be re-elected, so by this reasoning, would it be acceptable if they delay nominations until after the 2020 elections? Appointments are meant to fill posts so we have a functioning government and courts, while you seem to believe that the Senate should look nearly a year ahead of elections, etc. I don’t think that standard is a reasonable one to have a functioning government or courts. I think a 45 day time limit to at least schedule hearings on a nominee is a reasonable standard.

          • Scalia

            So long as Democrats are abiding by Senate rules, then it is perfectly permissible for them to avail themselves of whatever mechanisms those rules afford. Since the GOP controls the Senate, they may equally suspend those rules to move nominees forward. If the People object, they can remedy the situation in the next election.

            That’s the way things work in this country, Paul.

          • Paul Hooson

            It’s not a fair process to the nominees or their families, their finances, whether they have home mortgages or rental leases, where their children will attend school and many other variables. Both parties should stop playing politics with a process meant to fill appointments and have a functioning government and courts.

          • Scalia

            There you go again. Do you not even read the posts you reply to? The Senate said up front that it would not consider Garland’s nomination. Again, IT WAS DEAD ON ARRIVAL. If it’s not clear to you after the second time, please plug it into Google Translate. Maybe that will help.

          • They also strongly implied they would not take up any Nominee of the former President and leave the matter to the next Congress.

          • Again, what does “fair” have to do with anything for anyone who is not a child?

            62 going on 6 indeed.

            No fool like an old fool.

          • jim_m

            Dementia has taken its toll on him

          • Why don’t we suppose instead you have bats in your belfry.

          • jim_m

            JOe Biden said that it was inappropriate for a SCOTUS seat to be filled in an election year. I would say at least 365.

          • Paul Hooson

            You can’t time an unfortunate health episode, retirement or death, but tying up a nomination for nearly one year when there were no questions about a nominee’s character, was not fair to that nominee and an insult to him and his family. Add to that that he was Jewish, and it was too much like “let’s keep another Jew off the court, because Jews hang together”. That seemed like a further silent, but implied insult here.

          • Scalia

            For the umpteenth time, he was rejected from the beginning! Why in the world is that so difficult for you to grasp? There is more than one way to reject a candidate.

        • Scalia

          It wasn’t a matter of “excessive timespan.” Garland’s nomination was dead on arrival. The Senate’s role in advice and consent was to inform the president that it would abide by the will of the People in the forthcoming election. As I will explicate in a soon-to-be-posted column, the Senate is under no constitutional obligation to act on the president’s nominee.