Cut to the chase for Court seat

opinions

February 2, 2017 - 12:00 AM

Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer of New York is insistent that Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to fill the seat vacated by the death, a year ago this month, of Associate Judge Antonin Scalia require 60 votes. That’s the magic number to preclude a filibuster.
With President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, ignored by the Senate GOP majority, Democrats are being pressured to do the same with President Trump’s selection — with all of Trump’s nominees, no matter whether it’s for a Court appointment, his cabinet or, if there were such a position, dogcatcher.
That is the tune played in today’s highly charged partisan politics.
Republicans are eager to fill Scalia’s seat with Gorsuch. He is understandably described as either a fine fellow and good candidate or arch enemy of liberals and the Democrat base, depending on the politics of the writer or publication.
An interesting aside from an Associated Press analysis portrays Schumer as being “in a tough position. … He must be mindful of 23 Democrats and two independents (in the Senate) up for re-election in 2018, including 10 in states won by Trump.”
It is instructive to note that when Gorsuch was confirmed in 2006 for a 10th District U.S. Court of Appeals judgeship there was unanimous support.
As Shakespeare’s Hamlet famously said, “There’s the rub.”  Politics have become tortuously partisan.
Gorsuch is said to be similar to Scalia and is noted for being a textualist and originalist. Much will surface if and when hearings for the nomination begin. Our fervent hope is his confirmation will be decided on all issues, not a handful that often find their ways unproportionately into such proceedings.
We certainly aren’t giving Trump a pass, but of all that he has done in such a short time in the White House this nomination seems among the most innocuous.
Even so, if good reasons surface to deny Gorsuch, so be it, and move on without the usual dose of partisan rancor.

— Bob Johnson

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