Senate Democrats aim their gun at Neil Gorsuch; it goes pfffft

Democrats appeared pitiful this morning with their futile attempt to nail Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. They repeatedly asked him for his "opinion" about hot button issues so they could identify him as being on the wrong side, as defined by progressives, of cultural, political and other issues. Or as some kind of handmaiden of President Donald Trump.

Neil Gorsuch (10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals)

Neil Gorsuch (10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals)

As he should, Gorsuch could not and would not answer the loaded questions. It's not about his opinion he said, but his job is to follow the law. He does not make law. As far as disagreeing with Trump, Gorsuch repeatedly said that "no man is above the law." A judge's duty is to "apply the law, not to write the law."

Especially pitiable was Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) who had to shuffle through his staff-provided papers to find the next question that the progressives would hang an opinion on  Gorsuch that they would be able to condemn.

Sen Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) leveled a brilliant response to his "Democratic colleagues" when he reminded them of previous statements by the likes of Joe Bidden, as the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, that a judge should not state his opinions regarding cases that might come before him, that "following the law" was the highest obligation. That was the same position that Graham said he took when he voted to approve liberal Supreme Court nominees Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor

As former President Barack Obama said, elections have consequences.

I am reminded of how Democrats bitched about George H. W. Bush's nomination of David Souter to the high court because he didn't have "enough of a record" on those issues that were so important to them. They just assumed that because Bush appointed him he would be a conservative who would, for example, overturn Roe v. Wade decision that authorized abortion on demand (with the companion case of Doe v. Bolton). Turned out that not only didn't Souter do the unthinkable by trying to  overthrow Roe but he often ended out on the liberal side.

Gorsuch so far has shown himself to be thoughtful, studied, independent, smart and independent.

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  • Well, at least Judge Gorsuch is GETTING a hearing before the Senate. Much better than the short shrift the Republicans gave Judge Garland!!!

  • In reply to HHH Is My Hero: Miguel Estrada. Or I can help you out. He is one of several GW Bush judicial appointees who was successfully filibustered by the Democrats.

    Don't misunderstand me. *Every* judge deserves an up or down vote. What the Republicans did was wrong. But please understand that this stunt is not the purview alone of the Republicans. They learned it from the Democrats.

  • In reply to Rick Bohning:

    I wish the Republicans would learn compassion from the Democrats.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Such is the axiom of the day. I question if it is true. Such is a topic over a beer or two.

    What I do know is this: I have volunteered in several disaster areas around the country. I've been to the gulf coast 3 times in the aftermath of Katrina. I've rebuilt houses in the aftermath of tornadoes in Tuscaloosa, AL and Washington, IL. I've talked to a lot of my fellow volunteers. Dozens of people. Of everyone I spoke to, they all were conservative leaning. All. That does not sound like a group lacking compassion.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Oh, please. How would you respond if I said I wish Democrats would learn reason and common sense from Republicans?

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    If the Republicans' President epitomizes what you just asked, the answer is someone is delusional.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    Considering Trump, I would assume you were joking.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Nice dodge. Considering Nancy Pelosi, I would assume you were joking.

  • In reply to Rick Bohning:

    Filibustered is not refusing to hold any hearing. Rick, maybe you can justify McConnell's position to block anyone Obama nominated. It isn't like he nominated Bork, who did get a hearing.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack: is your rage against the Republicans blocking any ability in you for reasonable discourse. If you go back and read what I wrote, every judge deserves a vote. When the Democrats filibustered against President Bush's apointees, that was wrong. Period. When the Republicans refused to vote on any appointee from President Obama to fill the Scalia vacancy, that too was wrong. Period.

    Filibustering and not holding a hearing are indeed the same thing. They are both tools used by the opposing party to not allow a Judge to an appointed position without taking a vote. Both are BS. Every appointee deserves a vote.

  • In reply to Rick Bohning:

    Fine, but it took you a while to somehow recede from your strawman (who, having been Googled, was not an appointee for the Supreme Court, and, also WITHDREW). It isn't liberal rage, but McConnell's complete refusal to do the Senate's constitutional duty, one which you acknowledged exists.Hence, there isn't an equivalence, how much you tried to establish one.

    Also, I don't know if one "buys" the Huff Post, but they have a list of judges on which the Republicans would not grant a hearing, including judges nominated by Bush and Obama by the very senators who proposed them to the respective President and then slapped a hold on further consideration. That seems more of an attack on the workings of the third branch than filibustering a judge to withdraw. Again, I assume you are ready to denounce the Senate on that, too.

  • In reply to jack:

    A strawman fallacy is where you change someone's argument and then attack that altered argument. I attacked no one's argument. As I have said, time and time and (now) time again:


  • In reply to Rick Bohning:

    You replied to HHH, in a post starting Dude and citing someone who was blocked, not because some President the Senate majority leader didn't like nominated, but as the Google search indicated, got a hearing, and cause developed not to confirm him,

    "A strawman fallacy is where you change someone's argument and then attack that altered argument." Don't tell me that isn't what you did. I just demonstrated that you had.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack: I agreed with HHH. One cannot commit the strawman fallacy if one agrees with the argument. HHH understood me, yet you seem to not be able to follow simple conversation. It seems you are so eager to refute anyone who dares to cast any Democrat in a mildly unflattering light that you have lost the ability to follow simple conversation.

    The last word is yours if you wish it. I'll not converse with you again.

  • In a way, I seem to like Gorsuch; he's smart and very thoughtful.

    He may surprise many people if he's appointed to the Supremes; especially the Republicans who think he'll be their enforcer.

  • BTW, think the NRA and Colonel Blimp Trump might love your title?

  • The debate is framed between HHH's and Bob Schneider's posts. I figured the gun was loaded with blanks when Feinstein made some speech on the living Constitution, but a search indicates that she got into more substantive stuff today.You aren't going to be happy with this response.

  • Yes, the principle of Roe v. Wade has been affirmed many times, albeit sometimes modified. Has there been repeated affirmation of Doe v. Bolton? Of course, "separate but equal" also was affirmed many times, but was overturned--correctly so. Seems to me there is some maneuvering room here. For example, Lindsey Graham is sponsoring legislation that would prohibit certain abortions after a child (fetus, for you) feels pain. If the law was enacted and reached the Supreme Court, would the justices be required to throw out the law because of the Roe precedent? I'm not sure.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    Aside from the issue of "what is pain," Gorsuch certainly didn't give any indication in the testimony cited in the Fox News article that he was going to cross Ginsburg's conclusion that "we are done with this."

    Here's a couple of questions for you, of Constitutional dimension:

    If banning abortion is a states' rights issue, as the pro-life politicians have claimed until now, why is Graham sponsoring federal legislation? Does it include a provision empowering Jeff Sessions to go into New York, prosecute either mothers or doctors, and provide experts on the existence of pain?

    I mentioned earlier that Justice O'Connor effectively superseded the Roe v. Wade trimester formulation in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833. If the trimester formula didn't work, how would someone's arbitrary definition of "pain?"

    We can also note that Justice O'Connor, who was instrumental in Casey and other cases (such as parental notification and judicial bypass) was a Reagan appointee. So you got what you got, just as Roberts, a Bush appointee, was the one who eventually upheld the constitutionality of the ACA, something the current House is not questioning.

  • In reply to jack:

    I totally agree with the second paragraph, as I tried to say. I haven't argued that abortion is a state's rights issue. Among the rights involved is the right to life, balanced against the right to privacy. Neither is absolute.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    But still gets down to the second question in that paragraph. The "right to life" as you construe it doesn't mean much if there is no one to enforce it.

    It is the same point you raised on "sanctuary cities," to which the answer is that the feds can't make the state enforce federal laws. Even the candidate you said you did not support recognized that, only saying that he would cut off their money, but it looks like he's going to cut off every city's money. He did, though, promise [on and off] to punish mothers and doctors, so a federal criminal code provision and police force would be needed to do that.

  • Not giving ANYONE a vote is wrong. But the fact is that if the Democrats started the practice, the Republicans have perfected it. And don't forget, there were several Republicans who said they would keep the "Scalia seat" vacant for four more years if Hillary had won the election!

  • In reply to HHH Is My Hero:

    Like McCain.

  • In reply to HHH Is My Hero:

    HHH: we are in total agreement that not giving someone a vote is a wrong. As to who is more wrong? Shoot, that is tough. In the GW Bush era, when certain names were floated for the Supreme Court, there were promises made to filibuster. You remember Harriet Meyers? (unsure of the spelling). She was a second choice offered in response to the Dems promise to filibuster earlier names floated.

    If you want to say the Republicans are doing something worse in their unfulfilled promise to not hold a hearing than the Dems unfulfilled promise to filibuster a particular nominee, well, that is your perogative.

  • I thought he did a great job. Was Durbin's comment a signal he will be approved? From what I read on social media, his comment that Gay Marriage is settled law irritated many conservatives and made many Democrats say, wait a minute....

  • In reply to Bob Schneider:

    Despite the hold out at all costs guys like HHH, this doesn't seem to be one fight that either the Dems. or Reps. want. On your last point, there was some discussion on his view that original intent does not preclude taking into account technological change, but whether it does take into account societal change (which seems in point for gay marriage).

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