Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Gorsuch nomination likely to be confirmed, but at what cost to U.S.?

I have no doubt that the U.S. Senate will wind up confirming the appointment by President Donald J. Trump of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States.
The image Dems want Gorsuch to be tainted with

Trump will get a political victory – and a BIG one! Influence over the direction the Supreme Court takes on legal issues for years to come; way much longer than the time during which Trump will actually serve as president.

MEANING I HAVEN’T concerned myself much with the tactics being used by the Democratic Party minority of the Senate to try to thwart a vacancy on the nation’s high court from being filled. It’s going to happen, no matter how much senators (including Illinois’ own Richard Durbin and Tammy Duckworth) oppose it.

There has been speculation that the Senate’s Republican leadership is prepared to use some hardball procedural tactics that could basically force the issue to be addressed – regardless of the opposition from Democrats.

But those people who think they’re being practical-minded by merely looking at the end result (Gorsuch assuming the position, so to speak, on the high court) are missing the point.

For the purpose of the opposition tactics, quite frankly, is to muck up the reputation of Gorsuch based on the circumstances to which he gained a position on the court. Make it so that any future actions he takes get tied in so intensely to the legacy of Donald Trump.
Some of this is payback for Garland rejection

MAKE IT SO that Gorsuch becomes nothing but a female dog to The Donald.

Which isn’t a nice or honorable way for Democrats to behave. I have no doubt it carries its share of a taint of sleaze.

But as Democrats, including Durbin, have made a point of stating, Gorsuch only got to have the appointment because of the partisan political games that were played last year by the Senate in refusing for nearly a year to consider the Supreme Court appointment of Merrick Garland.

He was the D.C.-based federal judge who then-President Barack Obama would have named to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Durbin among those spewing partisan rhetoric

BUT REPUBLICAN IDEOLOGUES already were repulsed that Obama had been able to name two justices to the Supreme Court (Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan) and weren’t about to give him a third person.

The high court, after all, only has nine justices. Republican ideologues want to erase what they see as the taint Obama put on the federal government. Having a court with one-third of its picks chosen by Barack was totally unacceptable.

So Garland, a moderate pick from suburban Lincolnwood who was Obama’s attempt to appease more conservative interests, wound up becoming nothing. Gorsuch’s treatment, to a degree, is partisan political payback.
Duckworth efforts to meet Gorsuch ignored

But by making it clear that Gorsuch is a product of the Age of Trump (no matter what he really believes), they hope his name will be the subject of sneers and snickers similar to the way many in our society view Justice Clarence Thomas.

MORE THAN A quarter of a century after the confirmation hearings that resulted in the public airing of sexual harassment allegations, there are those who will never take anything he does seriously. Particularly because of the perception that Thomas was a pick of then-President George H.W. Bush who wanted a “certain kind” of black person on the high court who wouldn’t be as feisty as the legendary Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Time will tell if a “Justice Gorsuch” winds up being someone who can look beyond political partisanship while interpreting the law, or if he becomes so tied into the Trump image that we can never fully look at him seriously, or objectively.
GINSBURG: Now THAT will be a battle!

If anything, the real political battles will come if/when Trump gets to make Supreme Court appointments that would replace the justices perceived as not hostile toward progressive causes and issues.

Just think of how ugly the fight will be if Trump gets a chance to pick a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who just turned 84 a few weeks ago). That will make the current brawl seem like a silly little spat, by comparison.


No comments: