Thomas Gallatin / March 20, 2017

Senate Hearings on Gorsuch Begin

Democrats promise to obstruct a perfectly reasonable choice out of spite.

Monday will see the start of the Senate’s confirmation hearings for Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch. Democrats have promised to raise much resistance to Gorsuch, primarily to placate their leftist base. But with Gorsuch being such a squeaky clean nominee, the real drama will be in witnessing just how desperate Democrat leaders become as they seek to convince fellow Democrats — especially those up for election in red states come 2018 — to hold the line in opposition. The principled “textualist” versus the leftist obstructionists.

For many conservatives, concern over the Supreme Court nominee was the primary reason they voted for Trump. And Trump, staying true to his campaign promise, validated their trust with his choice of Gorsuch.

Democrat opposition has less to do with Gorsuch himself than with resentment over the fact that the Republican majority leadership refused to consider Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, last year. Democrats are simply engaging in a little tit-for-tat sanctimony.

Tom Goldstein, a Washington DC lawyer who regularly argues before the Supreme Court and publishes ScotusBlog, states, “It would be shocking if Neil Gorsuch wasn’t confirmed to the Supreme Court in the coming weeks. The Democrats are committed to opposing him. Their base is insisting on it, because of what happened to President Obama’s nominee. But the reality is, they just don’t have the votes and don’t have the goods.”

It’s certainly true that Democrats simply “don’t have the goods.” Instead, they’ll seek to embellish a narrative that paints Gorsuch as a heartless judge who has consistently sided with the powerful over and against the weak. This narrative proves to be nonsense when the actual cases are examined, but when has that ever stopped Democrats? What will be interesting to see is just how cautious an approach Democrats take in their questioning. It has been well established that Gorsuch is highly intelligent and well-spoken, which may give his interrogators some pause in their attacking tactics out of fear of being made to look foolish. Where’s Ted Kennedy and his viciously disgusting “Robert Bork’s America” speech when you need him?

Ultimately, the only win for Democrats would be to prevent Gorsuch from receiving the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster in an attempt to force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to engage the “nuclear option,” thereby relegating the filibuster to the annals of history. Either way, it seems a pretty sure bet that Gorsuch will become the nation’s next Supreme Court justice.

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