Dahlia Lithwick explores the delicate fees of Republicans who think their nominee should just be given a red carpet, a robe and a pass to the bench. The problem as I see it isn’t just that that particular seat on the highest political court in the land is stolen goods, it’s that the least thing this nation needs is another corporation loving, religious nutjub on the court like Scalia Junior.
Evidently the duplicity and politicization to which Merrick Garland Neil Gorsuch will be subjected is altogether unparalleled in modern history. And Sen. Ted Cruz, who is doubtless capable of hacking up a hairball of outrage over hangnails and the existence of Velcro, was affronted that a Democratic president had the temerity to even attempt to fill the chair vacated by Justice Antonin Scalia on an “activist Supreme Court” that is dominated by “unelected lawyers.”
We’ve passed the time when we can afford to blithely allow a president to nominate whomever they want without some critical analysis. Senate comity is a fucking joke by now, made ridiculous by the mugging of the totally moderate Merrick Garland. When somebody has been groomed by the Federalist Society and elite right wing political organizations for this job for 25 years in order to destroy liberalism, it probably requires a different standard of discernment for the Senate than the polite verities we’ve come to accept. Wrecking ball in a velvet glove meet wrecking ball.
The 3 million more Hillary votes didn’t vote for the kind of 17th century jurisprudence Gorsuch represents. And guess what, the anti-trade, anti-corporatist Trump voters in the Midwest that gave Trump a chance don’t exactly want someone whose view is that a truck driver stuck in a freezing cab has only one duty and that is to stay by his boss’s goods even if it means freezing to death as God intended. The truck driver chose life, which you would think an anti-choicer like Gorsuch would appreciate, but he didn’t. Gorsuch said it was okay for the boss to fire the truck driver for insubordination. So women don’t have choices, workers don’t have choices, only the wealthy.
Yet there are other adjectives for Gorsuch’s dissent. Obtuse, callous, elitist, and cruel are contenders. He displays a manner of thinking that might disappoint — if not shock — many of the white, working-class voters who turned out for Trump in November…
Gorsuch’s dissent in TransAm Trucking has drawn some unadmiring scrutiny in recent weeks. An Associated Press article last month described the opinion as one that appears to “defy common sense and fairness,” while the progressive Constitutional Accountability Center asserted in a white paper issued Friday that Gorsuch’s “crabbed interpretation” of the law was “anything but a fair reading of a statute enacted to protect worker and public safety.”
For Democrats this nominee and the Republicans “bottomless umbrage” leave them no debate, no broad strategery, no time to worry about what the GOP will do next. There’s only one manifest task here for Democrats to fulfill in order to make a clear clarion call statement and disseminate marching orders for Democrats, liberals, progressives to follow into the 2017 and 2018 elections: they must filibuster Gorsuch and edify the public why that was not only the right thing to do but the only thing to do.
Filling the Scalia seat with a Gorsuch isn’t balance it’s a continuation of applying dark ages thinking to 21st century jurisprudence. It’s opportunism for the losers who won by technicality to keep winning ad infinitum, no matter what the voters may do. Just accepting that with valor is as dead as the duelist who wastes his shot in the air out of honor. Acting like Alexander Hamilton in 2017 is not originalism, it’s stupid.
If Trump wants to fill it go back to the drawing board and respect the majority of Americans who did not vote for Republicans for the Presidency, the House or the Senate, he can easily do that. It doesn’t even have to be Merrick Garland. He can go rogue from the Federalists/Kochs/Mercers/Heritage/Cato, etc. and do what the majority of voters wanted, and what the voters who gave him a chance wanted – somebody who understands that a man freezing to death has no cruel obligation to do so for the man who signs his checks.