Gorsuch Scotus Nomination

March 29th, 2017

Gorsuch Scotus Nomination

Gorsuch SCOTUS Nomination

BACKGROUND: As this vote comes closer, there is a path to victory for Democrats to hang together and force Republicans to face the highly unpopular step of changing the 60-vote rule, which they may or may not have the votes for (NOTE: we recommend talking about the “60-vote thresholdSeveral arguments against Gorsuch have been advanced, and they fit well together – noting Merrick Garland’s freeze-out and the Russia investigation as context, but making the case against Gorsuch on the merits as the main case – that his record reveals he is cruel, partisan and not independent.


Basic points:


Gorsuch sides against workers, is often cruel, and would not be an independent check on Trump

1.    Cruelty runs through Gorsuch’s decisions, ruling against a truck driver whose company’s decision would have meant he froze to deathfor a school that locked adevelopmentally disabled kid in the closet and to undermine education for disabled kids. 

2.    Gorsuch is a radical pro-corporate operative in robes, consistently ruling for powerful interests and against workers’ rights and womens’ rights. 

3.    We need judges who will stand up for the law and against Donald Trump when he goes too far. But Gorsuch has already shown he bows to executive overreach, defending the Bush administration’s illegal actions.


Republicans are undermining our whole system with their brazen power grab.

1.    Senate Republicans ignored their constitutional duty for 10 months, and refused to give President Obama’s moderate nominee Merrick Garland a hearing.

2.    Now Senate Republicans are trying to push through President Trump’s radical nominee for a lifetime appointment while Trump is still under the cloud of an FBI investigation for potential collusion with the Russians to win the election.

3.    And they’re openly threatening to destroy the Senate’s traditional sixty-vote threshold for Supreme Court confirmations to do it.



As expected, Neil Gorsuch refused to answer even basic questions in his Senate hearing. He would not define what an emolument is, dodged defining the phrase ‘religious test,’ and left Americans wondering what kind of question he might actually be open to answering. But his long record speaks for him. 


Gorsuch’s case record reveals a streak of remarkable cruelty:

·           The Frozen Trucker. Judge Gorsuch wrote that trucker Al Maddin committed a fireable offense by seeking shelter after his employer left him stranded for hours in sub-zero weather with no heat and his body began to go numb. 

·           Denying Education to Disabled Kids. Gorsuch supported using a legal standard that would deny disabled children a decent education, which was deemed too extreme by every sitting Supreme Court Justice.

·           The Kid in the Closet. Gorsuch ruled that it was fine to use solitary confinement on a disabled child.– at least 30 times in one school year.

·           St. Thomas Aquinas said justice without mercy is cruelty. That’s Neil Gorsuch.


Gorsuch has a broader record of searching for ways to rule in favor of the rich and powerful over everyday Americans trying to get a fair shake.

  • Judge Gorsuch has consistently favored big money, powerful special interests over the rights of working people, siding with insurance companies denying disability benefits and employers discriminating against employees.
  • Judge Gorsuch has pioneered a novel standard for judicial review that would allow corporations to attack new rules they don’t like by tying them up in court.
  • The contrast between Judge Gorsuch’s persona and his record is reminiscent of Chief Justice Roberts, who said he would serve as an umpire and call balls and strikes, but instead has systematically worked to dismantle the cornerstones of democratic protections against special interests, with cases like Citizens United (which rolled back campaign finance laws) and Shelby County (which struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act). 


Gorsuch has shown troubling signs he would not be an independent check on Trump, which is critically important with President Trump’s attacks on the judiciary and potentially unconstitutional actions.

  • President Trump has shown amazing disregard for the judiciary, He has:
    • attacked judges based on their ethnic heritage
    • attempted to undermine their legitimacy when he doesn’t like their rulings
    • openly violated the constitution’s Emoluments Clause since taking office
    • complemented his spokesperson questioning judicial review and asserting that his power as President “will not be questioned”
  • Judge Gorsuch has shown no signs that he'd stand up to President Trump or right-wing orthodoxy.
    • Judge Gorsuch came from President Trump’s “short list” of judges he would consider for the Supreme Court, which was “largely outsourced” to the right-wing Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation.
    • Documents from Judge Gorsuch’s time in the Bush Administration DOJ show he was involved in that administration’s attempts to justify conduct like torture that was previously considered clearly illegal.
  • Judge Gorsuch has made his right-wing political views known, expressing disdain for “the Left.”
    • He has shown disdain for the use of the courtroom to vindicate fundamental rights—a viewpoint that should be anathema to anyone in the legal system, but is particularly inappropriate for someone who seeks a seat on the highest court in the land.
    • On money in politics, he is in the same company as Justices Thomas and Scalia, having expressed extreme skepticism to the most basic campaign finance rules. 


Pushback: But he seems like such a nice man.

This isn’t a miss congeniality contest; this is the next Supreme Court Justice.  His record is dangerous and must be stopped.

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