A Salute to Senators Manchin, Heitkamp, and Donnelly on Judge Gorsuch Nomination

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I must commend Senators Joe Manchin (WV), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), and Joe Donnelly (IN), who have shown the courage to rise above partisanship in the current discussion of Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

There is no debating Gorsuch’s credentials: Columbia graduate, J.D. from Harvard Law as a Truman Scholar, Appellate and Supreme Court Clerk, and a decade as an Appellate Court Judge.

During his distinguished career, Gorsuch’s intellect and judicial record have both been shown to be first-rate.

Even the country’s foremost liberal legal minds agree on this.

Famed Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax that he thinks “Trump was smart to pick someone who was highly credentialed and hard to oppose,” adding “he’ll be hard to oppose on the merits.”

His fellow Harvard Law professor, Laurence Tribe, says, “Gorsuch is a brilliant, terrific guy who would do the Court’s work with distinction. He is and he would.”

The Washington Post’s Daniel Drezner, an ardent Trump critic, says, “Whatever you think of his legal philosophy, Gorsuch seems both willing and able to rule against any of Trump’s unconstitutional power grabs.”

The Washington Post’s Radley Balko, one of the most prominent civil liberties reporters in the country, says, “Willingness to stand up to executive power is rapidly becoming most important trait in a justice. Love to see that analysis of Gorsuch.”

Reason Magazine’s Damon Root, who covers courts and their rulings says, “Neil Gorsuch’s record includes votes against both law enforcement overreach and executive branch overreach.”

Realistically, this SHOULD help ease the minds of those who are so terrified of President Trump abusing his power.

I understand progressives still have sore feelings over Merrick Garland, but nothing can be done about that now. The Garland situation is not Gorsuch’s fault, and in fact, as Balko points out, “On many issues, including most of those we cover here at The Watch, Gorsuch’s record suggests that he’d actually be to the left of Garland.”

Those who reflexively oppose Judge Gorsuch - because of bitter feelings over Garland and the fact that Gorsuch was nominated by President Trump - should also understand that rather than demonizing minorities, he protects their rights.

Neal Katyal, who was Solicitor General under President Obama and is currently a Georgetown Law professor, argued in a New York Times op-ed that liberals should back Gorsuch because he has, “no doubt that if confirmed, Judge Gorsuch would help to restore confidence in the rule of law. His years on the bench reveal a commitment to judicial independence — a record that should give the American people confidence that he will not compromise principle to favor the president who appointed him.”

Katyal goes on to describe De Niz Robles v. Lynch and Gutierrez-Brizuela v. Lynch, both cases where Gorsuch ruled AGAINST federal power on the grounds that the government was attempting to “retroactively interpret the law to disfavor immigrants.”

Timothy P. Carney at the Washington Examiner points out that Judge Gorsuch ruled to safeguard the religious liberties of two inmates in two separate cases - Native American Andrew Yellowbear and Muslim Madyn Abdulhaseeb - on the grounds that their religious liberties were being violated.

In reality, the Democrats’ stand is only symbolic. Republicans will either use the “nuclear option” to end the possibility of a Democrat filibuster, or they will use what the Federalist’s Sean Davis has referred to as the “two speech rule.”

Either way, Judge Gorsuch will get confirmed.

I just wish the process was based more on judicial acumen and less on petty partisan differences – whether Garland or Gorsuch - on both sides of the aisle.


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