Monday, February 13, 2017

Supreme Court Seat Vacant Now for One Year

Judge Neil Gorsuch
A week or two ago, Donald Trump made his first Supreme Court nominee.

Judge Neil Gorsuch is a qualified jurist, and I think the Supreme Court nomination process will ferret out where he is strong and deficient. For the most part, it appears this is a good selection for a Republican President trying to replace the late Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.

What's bizarre is the effort to get him confirmed.  I've never seen interest groups purchase ads to try to get people behind a Supreme Court nominee because the United States people don't get to vote on them.

From what I've read on Judge Gorsuch, he and I have different philosophies on government.  That said, if I were a Senator, and I'm obviously not, I would not hold Judge Gorsuch off the court because we differ on philosophy. Given Donald Trump's performance as President so far, I think it’s pretty clear that Judge Gorsuch is a selection that could have been worse in a number of ways, and it's not like we could not have seen it coming.  After all, this was one of the key things that Hillary Clinton said over and over on the campaign trail. It's the President of the United States that makes the decision on who to nominate to the court, and, if they are qualified, they are confirmed by the U.S. Senate.  That's the time honored tradition we have.  A sitting President gets his nominee.

Anyway, that’s what should happen.
Judge Merrick Garland
But, let’s back this whole thing up a little.

Judge Antonin Scalia Scalia went to bed and died peacefully in his sleep one year ago today: February 13, 2016.

A one year vacancy? That would be preposterous, right?  That means that the Supreme Court should already be full. It should include a ninth jurist who, by his public record, should have received an easy confirmation. Scalia’s old seat should have been filled by a man who is imminently qualified with many years of experience and unquestioned respect from people on both sides of the aisle.

The Supreme Court right now should include Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Sam Alito, Associate Justice Steven Breyer, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas and, the new kid on the block, Associate Justice Merrick Garland.

In my mind the Supreme Court should be full and there should be no question about who is on it. President Barack Obama did his job, and he nominated a qualified individual to the Supreme Court. Obama should have gotten his nominee.

Mitch McConnell stole the seat. That’s why I not only encourage, but I expect Democrats to lay things on the line and filibuster this nomination of Judge Gorsuch and slow the entire process down to a halt until Judge Merrick Garland is given his fair hearing and vote in front of the U.S. Senate. 

That would be fair.  

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