Feb 16, 2017
Just as people who like sausage shouldn't visit a sausage factory, so people who stand in awe of the United States Senate shouldn't get too close to the confirmation fight over Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, President Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, lest they see more senatorial sausage-making than they bargained for. It threatens to be an ugly affair.
Gorsuch is, by all accounts, highly qualified. But not only is he conservative-a strict constructionist and textualist in interpreting the Constitution and the law-he is also the choice of a controversial president. Plus, it appears, distinctly prolife, having once written (in a book on assisted suicide and euthanasia) that "all human beings are intrinsically valuable."
His confirmation for the seat occupied by the late Justice Antonin Scalia is likely in the end. But not until Senate Democrats, spurred on by Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), have given him as hard a time as they can.
In fairness, the Democrats have their reasons. Following Scalia's death last year, President Obama named another federal appeals court judge, Merrick Garland, to succeed him. But Obama had already placed two liberal justices on the court-Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan-and Senate Republicans, balking at a third Obama choice in a presidential year, blocked Garland's confirmation by simply doing nothing about it.