Senate Should Confirm Gorsuch to Supreme Court

Written by Ralph E. Stone. Posted in Law, Opinion, Politics

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Published on February 01, 2017 with No Comments

President Donald Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch. Photo via Wikipedia.

By Ralph E. Stone

February 1, 2016

The Senate should confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court if he is found to be qualified.  I understand the Republicans refused to even consider Merrick Garland, Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, even though Obama had ten months left on his term at the time.  I also understand had Hillary Clinton become president, the Republicans indicated no nominee of hers would be confirmed either.

However, I disagree with playing the same game with Trump’s nomination of Gorsuch.  Once Gorsuch is fully vetted and found qualified, he should be confirmed without a filibuster and without resort to the “nuclear option.”   His conservatism should not be a disqualifying factor.  Consider that Gorsuch was unanimously confirmed to the court of appeals in 2006.

The nuclear or constitutional option, by the way, is a parliamentary procedure that allows the U.S. Senate to override a rule or precedent by a simple majority of 51 votes, instead of by a supermajority of 60 votes. Either way, Gorsuch will very likely be confirmed.

Trump was going to nominate a conservative and Gorsuch is a better choice than others he could have nominated. Gorsuch’s confirmation will bring the Supreme Court back to four conservatives, not a majority of five.

More importantly, a less than full Supreme Court of nine justices impedes the smooth functioning of the court; the Supreme Court should not be a partisan institution.  Perhaps, the Democrats should take the high road on this nomination; it will give them more credibility when they oppose clearly objectionable nominees like DeVos, Bannon, and Sessions.

Ralph E. Stone

I was born in Massachusetts; graduated from Middlebury College and Suffolk Law School; served as an officer in the Vietnam war; retired from the Federal Trade Commission (consumer and antitrust law); travel extensively with my wife Judi; and since retirement involved in domestic violence prevention and consumer issues.

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