Highlights from the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:
Gor-Such a Good Pick!
For any Trump fan who thought I was incapable of writing this: “Neil Gorsuch is a terrific pick, and President Trump should be congratulated for making it.”
I’ve never seen Ed Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, do a cartwheel before, but I think the Gorsuch nomination might spur him to try.
While he has rightly recognized that no one could ever replace Justice Scalia, there are strong reasons to expect Justice Gorsuch to be an eminently worthy successor to the great justice.
Gorsuch is a brilliant jurist and dedicated originalist and textualist. He thinks through issues deeply. He writes with clarity, force, and verve. And his many talents promise to give him an outsized influence on future generations of lawyers.
… Gorsuch acknowledges that Justice Scalia’s project had its critics, from the secular moralist Ronald Dworkin to the pragmatist Richard Posner. He explains why he rejects those critics and instead sides with Justice Scalia in believing that “an assiduous focus on text, structure, and history is essential to the proper exercise of the judicial function.” The Constitution itself carefully separates the legislative and judicial powers. Whereas the legislative power is the “power to prescribe new rules of general applicability for the future,” the judicial power is a “means for resolving disputes about what existing law is and how it applies to discrete cases and controversies.” This separation of powers is “among the most important liberty-protecting devices of the constitutional design.” Among other things, if judges were to act as legislators by imposing their preferences as constitutional dictates, “how hard it would be to revise this so-easily-made judicial legislation to account for changes in the world or to fix mistakes.” Indeed, the “very idea of self-government would seem to wither to the point of pointlessness.”
Sen. Ben Sasse tweeted that he “Went to the Supreme Court to talk to the protesters. But it turns out to be a Mad-Lib protest.”
The Judicial Crisis Network is launching a $10 million national campaign to confirm President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. This phase consists of a $2 million broadcast, cable, satellite and digital ad buy starting in Missouri, Indiana, North Dakota, Montana, and the nation’s capital. (I guess we know which four Democratic senators will be facing the pressure.)
“Neil Gorsuch is exceptionally qualified — a fair and independent judge who bases his decisions on the Constitution, and he is widely respected on both sides of the aisle,” said Carrie Severino, Chief Counsel for the Judicial Crisis Network. “He was confirmed unanimously to one of our highest courts in 2006, and I am confident he will receive bipartisan support again this time. Some Democrats may be tempted to obstruct his nomination, but we have already launched a robust campaign in key states, and we will ultimately force vulnerable Senators to choose between obstructing and keeping their Senate seats.”
The message from the world of the Koch network: In the 36 states where the Americans for Prosperity, Generation Opportunity, the Libre Initiative, and Concerned Veterans of America are active, they’ll be getting their 3.2 million supporters to push their senators to support Gorsuch’s confirmation. Efforts and resources will focus in 10 targeted states with direct mail, door knocks, phone calls, and digital advocacy, i.e., paid ads and social media.