Yesterday afternoon the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Senate floor. Every Republican voted for him while every Democrat voted against him. The Democrats, headed by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have promised a filibuster.
Joining Jim to discuss this issue was Mat Staver. Mat is a constitutional attorney, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a nonprofit litigation, education and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious liberty, the sanctity of human life and the family.
Mat believes it’s hard to argue that Judge Gorsuch isn’t qualified to be a Supreme Court justice when the same senators, Democrat and Republican, voted for him when he was nominated for the Federal Court of Appeals.
What happened since then? Mat contends that the Democrats don’t want to nominate anyone who is the choice of the Republicans or the President. They won’t vote for anyone unless it’s a liberal who wants to shred the Constitution by inventing law from the bench. He noted that the Democrats are willing to ‘burn the house up’ and bring the Republicans to the point where they invoke the ‘nuclear option’ which means doing away with the long established filibuster rule.
Interestingly, as a campaign promise, President Trump said he would nominate pro-life judges/justices to the Supreme Court. He even presented a list as part of his campaign, something that no other president has ever done. So the people had a choice. Did they want Hillary Clinton and the judges she’d likely pick or Donald Trump and his choices that he clearly marked out beforehand? Obviously the American public rejected Clinton for Trump and he has the right to fulfill this nomination. He did just that with a qualified person and now the Senate needs to vote to confirm.
Judge Gorusch is an originalist which means that he abides by the original understanding of the Constitution. Why is this so controversial? Because the opposition wants to impose their own independent meaning on the document this many years later.
Concerning a quote that Judge Gorsuch made concerning Roe v. Wade, Mat responded by noting that as a lower court judge, you’re bound to follow the idea that Roe is precedent. However, as a Supreme Court judge/justice, while you do need to take it into consideration, you’re not bound by that precedent.
In the end, Mat feels that Judge Gorsuch has shown that he’s willing to follow the history and text of the Constitution. It’s a matter of time before the next Supreme Court case on abortion comes up. When that happens, Judge Gorsuch will overrule it.
Keep in mind that should this happen, the balance of the court will still be at 5-4. In other words, at this point, if appointed, Judge Gorsuch simply replaces the late Justice Scalia. So what surprises Mat concerning the Democrats is that they want to filibuster now over Judge Gorsuch, when in fact their battle is not over him. Their real battle for the future of the Supreme Court will take place when one of the remaining justices decides to step down. If an originalist is appointed at that time, Mat believes that Roe v. Wade and the 2015 same-sex marriage cases will be history.