Wednesday, February 01, 2017

The next SCOTUS justice

On Tuesday evening, President Donald Trump was scheduled to announce his judicial nominee to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Not only did Trump arrive on time for his scheduled 8:00 PM ET announcement, his remarks were brief. That means Trump easily outshone his predecessor in those two areas.

As such, the much anticipated announcement arrived promptly.

President Trump nominated federal Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, choosing a jurist widely seen by conservatives as a fitting successor to the late Antonin Scalia – and touching off what is sure to be a fierce confirmation battle with Senate Democrats already vowing resistance.

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.

He quipped: "Does that happen anymore?"

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

The Editors at National Review, a publication which universally opposed Trump during the presidential campaign, lauded this selection.

Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, is a fine choice to replace the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia. He combines a sterling intellect and a fidelity to law.

That fidelity is what undergirds the “originalism” that Justice Scalia espoused and that Judge Gorsuch continues to practice. That term refers to the view that a legal provision — whether a statute or an amendment to the Constitution — should be read to have the meaning its words could be understood to bear at the time it became law. An official may apply an old law in new ways as circumstances change. But if he acts on an understanding of the law that differs from that original meaning, then he has illegitimately amended it. And the law is binding on judges no less than it is on other officials.

Originalism has faced resistance in modern times mostly because liberals would rather not go through the formal process of amending the Constitution in order to edit it to their liking, removing its structural limits on governmental power and putting their preferred policies beyond democratic review. Gorsuch’s record gives us cause to believe that he would use his vote and his voice to side with the actual Constitution.

If there was a singular issue which Trump supporters used as a cudgel on Republican voters who were hesitant to support Trump, it would be the issue of who would select Scalia's replacement. I don't believe it's a stretch to say that this was a significant factor in Trump's victory.

Trump has been in office less than two weeks, but this has to be the first move he's made which has been universally praised by Republicans of all stripes. It also puts Senate Democrats in a precarious position since they've hinted strongly that they will filibuster any nominee, even before said nominee was announced. As Trump alluded to in his introduction of Gorsuch, he was confirmed unanimously to the Tenth Circuit back in 2006. Some of the prominent Dems who supported Gorsuch back then?

 And then there's this:

I said last week that, if necessary, the GOP majority in the Senate should invoke the nuclear option in the event that there are not 60 votes for cloture. It's early, but given how well Gorsuch has been received, there just might be the necessary number of Dems (needs to be at least 8) to join the 52 Senate Republicans in cutting off debate and proceeding to a vote.

Regardless, Neil Gorsuch will be the confirmed as the next United State Supreme Court justice.


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