President Trump nominated Judge Neil M. Gorsuch for the Supreme Court. The rancor and rejection by those who oppose Trump now rises to a new level of vitriol. I place myself in the ranks of those who did not vote for Trump. I find his initial actions in office to be counter-productive at best and terrifying at worst. I have great apprehension for the near future of this country.
But, with that said, let us not forget the process of government given to us by the founding fathers. One created to weather such storms.
Let us not forget the constitutional concepts upon which these nominations proceed to Congress. They are to “advise and consent.”
When President Obama (oh where, oh where have you gone?) nominated Judge Merrick Garland, the Republicans acted like fools. Spouting all sorts of nonsense about election year nominations being improper.
No doubt someone will point out that more people voted against Trump than voted for him. They’ll suggest this as a reason he should not nominate anyone.
Nonsense. As much nonsense as blocking election year nominations.
Republicans refused to give Garland a hearing. They subverted the constitution. They knew the hearing to “advise and consent” is not about the nominee’s positions, but about their qualifications. Garland was as qualified as Gorsuch appears to be, philosophical differences aside.
These differences are not a basis to reject a nominee.
We cannot scream about violating the spirit of America with a religious test (couched in fear) that bans immigration based on being a Muslim, then seek to block an otherwise apparently qualified nominee for the court because we disagree with his opinions.
Democrats need not follow the Republican circus act. They can follow the rule of law and Senate decorum.
Quotes are like friends, we pick them because we like them. Facts are like blood relatives, often uncomfortably embarrassing. We can quote all we like by cherry-picking decisions by Gorsuch. The fact remains that on the surface he appears qualified for the position. If a Senate hearing discovers otherwise, so be it.
And that is all the constitution requires.
History is replete with justices who turned out to be much less rigid than expected.
If Justice Gorsuch demonstrates his qualifications for the Supreme Court, the Senate should advise and consent. If we demand the Republicans follow the law, and criticize them when they don’t, we must ourselves take the high road.
To do otherwise is to cast aside 200 plus years of our way of conducting the people’s business. There are those in Congress who do not care, those of us with some rationality left should.
The alternative is inertia in government.