A few points on the Gorsuch nomination.
First, it is an excellent pick and President Trump should be congratulated for fulfilling his most important campaign promise (or at least making an excellent start at fulfilling it — more vacancies may be coming). He should also be congratulated for rolling out this decision in a dignified and professional way. It was a welcome and smart contrast to the chaos of the last few days.
I’m with Kevin below. I find the instantaneous claims that Gorsuch – a hyper-educated scholar with an impeccable resume — is “extreme” to be tedious and exhausting. Why come straight out of the blocks telegraphing that you will not argue in good faith or with reason? Anyone who begins by saying Gorsuch is extreme and dangerous has already forfeited their place at the grown-ups’ table. For instance:
Gorsuch represents a breathtaking retreat from the notion that Americans have fundamental Constitutional rights.— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) February 1, 2017
This raises a funny irony. I keep hearing from liberals that President Trump, who didn’t win the popular vote (in case you hadn’t heard) shouldn’t be “allowed” to appoint a Supreme Court Justice to fill a “stolen seat.” I also keep hearing, often from the same liberals, that the Constitution matters more than ever in the age of Trump. Well, the Constitution says the president gets to nominate a Justice and the senate has the right to confirm him or her (the term “stolen seat” can’t be found in there — nor is there some special corollary about losing the popular vote). Last year, every C-SPAN and Dianne Rehm Show caller in America talked poetically about these constitutional obligations of the senate. Much shouting of “Do your job!” and the like could be heard. Petitions were deployed. Petitions.
Now, I certainly don’t blame partisan Democrats for being pissed about the situation. But if they actually believed in the stuff they were spouting last year — or even the stuff they’re spouting right now about the Constitution mattering more than ever — than they can’t exactly make the argument that the President can’t make an appointment to the court.
Oh one last thing about those preprinted signs proclaiming Gorsuch is “extreme and dangerous.” As I noted on Twitter last night, I can only assume they made those up for everybody, or at least the finalists. Those signs would be great collectors’ items for politics and law nerds. They’d also be useful props in a future confirmation fight, if someone in DC sees some in a dumpster, grab a few.