Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch is facing a tough ground at his confirmation hearings, with Democrats doing their level best to identify, and attack, any areas where he may be weak or beholden to the Trump administration. And to give the man credit, he’s held his ground, establishing himself as an independent member of the judiciary (if admittedly with conservative leanings), who will not presume to hold better views than any of his would be predecessors, that will not currently declare any potential ruling at this stage, and will openly deny being willing to defer to the Trump administration. Which is good, if still not totally convincing. Still he remains one of Trumps best decisions to date undeniably; which then begs the question: why are democrats so actively against his nomination?
Okay, so ‘actively’ is a bit of leap, but they have been persistently attacking, while republicans croon, on any issue they can find and trying to confirm bias, or an intent to dismantle any past ruling particularly Roe vs Wade. So why are they determined to challenge him? Two reasons mostly:
- Liberal pushback. Many activists are determined to push them to block Gorsuch, due to him being a Trump nominee and because of his stances, as shown through past court rulings, on environmental issues, abortion, and corporations. To some he is indeed a grave far-right threat, others want Democrats to challenge and obstruct Trump in much the same way the Republicans did for Obama for eight years, as best they could, and see this as the first test.
- Merrick Garland. Obama’s nominee was denied even a hearing due to Republican obstruction (which they could accomplish by being the senate majority) as such they prevented any chance of him being nominated in the attempt to put one of their own in Scalia’s seat. The gambit paid off, but now Democrats are fuming and may well see this as a chance to punish the Republicans for their efforts and do their level best to prevent Gorsuch’s nomination.
So far Gorsuch looks unruffled by Democrats efforts to challenge and block him, but more hearings are to come, and then the vote will occur with all the potential of a filibuster occurring, with the democrats still trying to block the nomination. Anything’s possible these days.
Politico: Ten Takeaways from the Gorsuch Hearings