On Tuesday evening, President Trump chose Neil Gorsuch for his Supreme Court nominee. This pick is to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last year.
His seat had been held vacant since his death, when Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell decided to wait to until the presidential election was over before starting the nomination process. This move has infuriated Democrats. Many Democrats, including their leadership, have called this the “stolen seat” and, of course, true to form, the MSM has taken this theme and run with it.
To the Democrats, when Mr. Obama nominated Merrick Garland, it somehow erased the 29 years that Antonin Scalia served on the court. This narrative is not only false, but it is absurd. This is not a stolen seat, because Justice Scalia was never replaced and, in fact, it won’t change the balance of the court.
Ironically, in 1992, the then Senator Joe Biden argued that President George Bush should delay filling a Supreme Court vacancy until the presidential election was over, and that it was “essential” that the Senate refuse to confirm a nominee until then. Not only that, but Mr. Obama’s nominee was not guaranteed to pass in the Republican-controlled Senate. There was serious talk from people like Ted Cruz to not fill the seat at all if Hillary Clinton had won.
Democrats have already indicated that they will filibuster any nominee. In an interview, Sen. Jeff Merkley said:
“This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat,” “We will use every lever in our power to stop this.”
If they do get the necessary 41 votes needed to filibuster, President Trump has encouraged Sen. McConnell to use the “nuclear option,” which would change the Senate rules to allow a nominee to pass with a simple majority vote.
Is this a strong enough nominee for the Republicans to feel comfortable in using the nuclear option? I suppose one way to judge this is the reaction left-leaning groups have responded with to his nomination:
“We absolutely must not confirm a Supreme Court nominee who has ruled that religious beliefs can trump law,” said Rachel Tiven, Chief Executive of Lambda Legal in New York, a gay rights advocacy group. “It is a short hop from birth control restrictions to restrictions on intimate relationships and healthcare needs of LGBT people.”
“With a clear record of supporting an agenda that undermines abortion access and endangers women, there is no doubt that Gorsuch is a direct threat to Roe vs. Wade and the promise it holds for women’s equality,” said Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America.
These comments are an indication that Judge Gorsuch has strong conservative values, and his track record shows that he believes strongly in religious freedom and he is strongly pro-choice. If confirmed, he will be crucial in deciding several big issues that the court will face in the coming years, especially if the court revisits Roe vs. Wade.
This would also be a win for President Trump, who yet again delivered on a campaign promise and will soothe nervous Republicans in the House and Senate that have been shaken by the bumpy start of a Trump administration.