The Gorsuch Hearing: Nuts and Bolts

In a bid to place hurdles in the way of Gorsuch's expected confirmation by the Republican-controlled Senate, Democrats on the judiciary committee have said they will probe him on several fronts based mainly on his record as a federal appeals court judge and a Justice Department appointee under former President George W. Bush.

"It's always hard to say how a judge is going to affect the ideology of the Supreme Court", attorney Mark Champoux told Anne Trujillo on this week's Politics Unplugged. He continued, "I think all of this will be a little bit veiled". They want to be able to make the argument that [Gorsuch] is anti-worker, anti-consumer, anti-environment because he expresses skepticism about the Chevron doctrine, but at the same time, they want to say that he's a rubber stamp for the Trump Administration and the executive branch. A confirmation hearing with no sparks and no controversy is a surefire path to a seat on the court.

Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) predicted on New York AM 970's "The Cats Roundtable" that Judge Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed this week after hearings to the U.S. Supreme Court.

More than 100 people attended the citizen's hearing for Gorsuch organized by Indivisible Charlottesville. Someone should ask Schumer whether it is ever acceptable for a judge to rule against a poor person and in favor of a large corporation? Gorsuch also regularly sided with employers in the employment discrimination cases on which he Saturday.

The idea is to put targeted pressure on vulnerable Democratic senators like Missouri's Claire McCaskill to support Gorsuch - or at least to withhold support for a Democratic filibuster - using local media coverage of Gorsuch's life story as a lever.

As a judge on the Tenth Circuit, Gorsuch wrote a concurring opinion in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that suggested employers would be "involved in the wrongdoing of others" if they complied with employment laws that prohibited certain types of discrimination in health care coverage.

It might also be argued that Gorsuch should be confirmed because the Democrats lost and the Republicans won. Bennet - a Democrat - has not said whether or not he will support Gorsuch, but Republican Gardner says he will.

Mounting a filibuster to force such a vote could amount to a declaration of war against Republicans that some Democrats, particularly those from conservative states that voted for Trump, may be unwilling to do.

Critics of the high court have pointed to a series of 5-4 rulings striking down campaign finance limits. "I don't know how much the president's name will come directly into the discussion, but I'm sure there will be some Democratic senators who have that set of issues front and center and will be trying to press him to make commitments or reflect his philosophy about rule of law, judicial independence, questions like that". Yet the only reason why no president in the last eighty years nominated a Justice in the last year of his term is that, for the last eight decades, no Supreme Court vacancy arose during an election year. "The president made a brilliant choice with Judge Gorsuch".

Neil Gorsuch does not belong on the Supreme Court. She does so with Republican of Iowa, Charles E. Grassley.

Judges, Gorsuch went on to say, should "apply the law as it is, focusing backward, not forward, and looking to text, structure and history to decide what a reasonable reader at the time of the events in question would have understood the law to be".

  • Larry Hoffman