Note to Democrats on Gorsuch Nomination. Get this behind you quickly.

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All this week, the Senate will be holding hearings “interviewing” Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, a Right-Wing Conservative who wouldn’t even be in line to fill a Supreme Court vacancy if it were not for Republicans holding the seat left vacant by the late Justice Scalia for thirteen months. As a Liberal Democrat, I can give a multitude of reasons why Gorsuch should not be appointed to the highest court in the land, and under normal circumstances, I’d be telling Democrats to block this nomination from going through. But these are not normal times and under present circumstances, this is not the hill Democrats want to die on. We have a White House that is in chaos, a president who needs to be criminally investigated, a Republican Party that is making “ObamaCare” look better & better by the day as people learn more and more about the “Republican Insurance Program”… or R.I.P. for short. The LAST thing Democrats need to be doing is looking like spoiled children stamping their feet in protest, refusing to eat their veggies until Trump re-nominates Obama’s awful Milquetoast nominee Merrick Garland, helping make Trump & The GOP look like the adults in the room while distracting the country from Trump’s “Conspiracy Theory” tweetstorms and everyday juvenile behavior just to avoid replacing one hard-Right Conservative judge with another hard-Right conservative judge who’s going to be less inclined to vote your way if you make his confirmation process miserable.
 

Scalia & Gorsuch fishing

 

First, the argument against Gorsuch:

As I stated, there’s a half dozen reasons why Gorsuch should not be on the Supreme Court. Chief among those reasons for me is that he’s one more Evangelical Christian whose interpretation of U.S. law is apparently defined by his view of “God’s law.” Pardon me if I think Supreme Court judges should take that whole “separation of church & state” thing seriously. Gorsuch almost certainly made Trump’s short list of SCOTUS nominees for being the judge who ruled on the famed 2013 “Hobby Lobby” case (where the uber-religious owners suddenly decided that forcing them to pay for an insurance policy that included “contraceptive care” was a violation of their First Amendment rights). Gorsuch sided with Hobby Lobby on the grounds “it conflicted with the business owner’s religious beliefs.” The fact Hobby Lobby had already been doing so for years prior to the “ObamaCare” mandate apparently didn’t bother them until they found a way to use their religion to stick it to Obama. Did the religious freedom of the employee matter? Of course not. In the judgement of Gorsuch, the employers religious freedom supersedes that of their employees. One might argue that employees WORKED for that benefit (health insurance) and the employer paying for that coverage was part of their employee’s compensation. It wasn’t “Hobby Lobby’s” money, it was HERS, and they had no say in how she spends it. If instead of HL paying the insurer directly, had they of just given the money to the employee to spend on whatever insurance she wanted, there wouldn’t have been a damn thing they could have done about it. So why was it okay for HL to refuse to pay for her chosen coverage using money that technically didn’t even belong to them? And more to the point, when did your bosses religious rights take precedence over your own? Once you become a public entity, your rights as an individual should no longer apply.

Gorsuch ruled that your bosses religion trump’s yours (pardon the pun.)

And if a corporations’ First Amendment religious rights supersede the rights of their employees, just how do you think Gorsuch might vote should the repeal of “Citizens United” ever come before the Supreme Court? “Citizens United” ruled that corporations have a First Amendment right to “Free Speech” in the form of unlimited spending on political campaigns. Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer asked Gorsuch about CU. He refused to answer. Let’s be clear. CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PEOPLE any more than a school bus is a child. The PEOPLE inside that corporation already have rights. Combining them into a business entity does NOT confer upon them additional rights. A corporation can’t (yet) cast a vote. Technically, they can live forever. If corporations are people, then when one corporation buys another corporation, that’s slavery. And no corporation has ever received “the Death Penalty” (dissolvement) for contributing to the death of an employee. But Conservatives don’t see it that way. As Mitt Romney said in 2012, “Corporations are people, my friend!” And if a single individual “incorporates” themselves by becoming a business, that suddenly makes him/her two people? I think not. That may seem ludicrous to you or me, but not to Conservatives and I guarantee not to Neil Gorsuch.

There was a brief flurry of shock recently when it was discovered that Gorsuch’s High School yearbook listed him as the founder of the “Fascism Forever” Club. The citation is true, but it was also written in jest. Bookending that “accolade”, it recognized his achievement as “Lousy Spanish Student” followed by “Believer in the World According to Ward” (presumably Ward Churchill, a controversial professor at the same university and frequent target of Bill O’Reilly for supposedly comparing the 9/11 victims to Nazi’s. O’Reilly endlessly tried to link Democrats to this obscure professor for reasons only Bill can fathom.) So the hysteria over that “fascist” revelation died out quickly (and rightly so.)

When Gorsuch attended college in the early 1990’s, he wrote for his college newspaper which gives us some insight into his attitudes at the time. But I advise against reading too much into what a dumb kid wrote in college in his early twenties. When *I* was in college in my early twenties (Gorsuch and I are the same age), I was a Republican (yes, it’s true) who repeated jokes about gay people (and one particularly nasty joke about black people I thoughtlessly repeated in front of a black friend that haunts me to this day), so people can radically change from who they were as kids to how they see the world today. But if hints of opinions expressed 25 years ago can still be seen in him today, then those childhood opinions matter. Case in point…

During the lead up to the first Gulf War in late-1990, there was some debate on college campuses whether or not military recruiters should be allowed on campus at the student’s (and taxpayers if public) expense to spread their pro-war propaganda. In addition, the attitude of the military towards gays was just beginning to become an issue, and while straight-support for gays was rare, it played a role in why so many opposed the idea of allowing the military to spread its ideology on college campuses. If you opposed the war, a government mandated intrusion of Marines intimidating students and preying on the cash-strapped to convince them to risk their lives (in what most considered a war of choice) just to pay for college, seemed like pretty despicable behavior. In a (confusing to me) essay in support of the military’s First Amendment right to speak wherever they wish, Gorsuch sided with the military over the rights of the students to say “we don’t want you here.” Confusing because I found his argument defending The Marines right to speak applied equally to the University’s right to say No (“No one has the right to determine who may speak on campus” applies equally to the military in this instance… or at least, it should.) So is this opinion written by a college kid 25+ years ago germane today? Based on his “Hobby Lobby” ruling, I believe so.

I won’t go into too much detail into Gorsuch’s then apparent hostility towards Liberals and Activists back then [ibid] because, as I pointed out, I never imagined back then I’d be a proud Liberal Democrat today. My only suggestion is to look for similarities between his attitude then and positions taken today to see if he has since matured.

But the point is, taking a stand on the Gorsuch nomination would be extremely counter productive at this time. Democrats can’t keep the seat open for 3-1/2 years till Trump is voted out w/o looking far more extreme than even the GOP who kept the seat open for 11 months and risk turning Trump into a sympathetic figure. And the chances of #ToddlerTrump relenting and nominating an even more Moderate judge are about zero. More than likely, he’d appoint increasingly hard-right judges, making Democrats sorry they hadn’t approved his earlier pick(s).

It is true that in 2006, President Bush nominated Gorsuch to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and was approved unanimously by Republicans and Democrats alike, so it would seem a bit late to start arguing his fitness to be a Federal Judge at this point. True, we know far more about his political & judicial leanings today than we did eleven years ago, but that’s a weak argument you’re just not going to win (what’s your defense? We approved someone we knew nothing about back then?)

Remember that the white hot spotlight right now is on Trump. His Administration is in the midst of a credibility crisis that includes wild baseless accusations of Obama spying on him… literally accusing his predecessor of a felony without evidence (as I pointed out two weeks ago that despite access to an entire intelligence community reporting directly to him, he’s getting his “intel” from Fox “news” and Right-wing conspiracy websites), his administration’s apparent coziness with Russia (including The Man himself), his glaring racism (between his Mexico Wall and “Muslim Ban”), and now a DoA “health care” plan that has them scrambling to explain how a plan Trump assured everyone would be “better, cheaper and covers everyone” is turning out to be yet another huge give away to the insurance companies, massive tax break for the rich, wildly more expensive for some while allowing the return of worthless bargain policies that cover nothing and deny everything, and could leave as many as 24 million people out in the cold.

This is but ONE Supreme Court nomination. And given the age of the remaining Liberal members of the court, we can’t risk a populace sympathetic to Trump allowing him to fill a second crucial vacancy with another Far-Right judge. The LAST thing we need right now is to look like petty children ourselves, blocking a Supreme Court appointment that doesn’t change the balance of power (he’s replacing Scalia) in the futile hope of getting someone Moderate, and shifting the focus away from Trump’s bizarre/childish/provocative behavior, only to create a shiny new distraction they can use to pummel us with.
 


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March 20, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Posted in: Civil Rights, Healthcare, Partisanship, Seems Obvious to Me, Unconstitutional