More than half of Senate Democrats are lining up against confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court of the United States, according to The Hill, an appointment they believe was “stolen” from former President Barack Obama
The Senate appears headed for a showdown, with Sen. Charles Schumer, minority leader and perennial anti-gunner, blustering a challenge to Republicans to go ahead and try. Sixty votes are needed to avoid a Democrat filibuster.
“It’s going to be a real uphill climb…to get those 60 votes,” Schumer said.
While Schumer and other Gorsuch opponents are raising all kinds of issues, they seem reluctant to admit that a chief concern is how the Colorado federal judge will come down on Second Amendment cases. Democrats had been hopeful that Hillary Clinton would be nominating someone to fill the seat left vacant by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death 14 months ago; someone who shared her opinion that earlier rulings on the Second Amendment were “wrong.”
Democrats have become known as the “party of gun control,” and liberals would like to see reversals of the 2008 Heller and 2010 McDonald rulings. With Gorsuch on the high court, there would be a return to balance.
The Wall Street Journal notes that Republicans are “threatening to invoke a rules change known as the ‘nuclear option.’”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is still predicting Gorsuch will be confirmed April 7. But the WSJ said few people see a way to avoid a Senate showdown. The Hill reported that Democrats are “facing a mountain of pressure from progressive groups.”
Gorsuch is described as an “originalist” who relies on the original intent of the Constitution and its authors.
That’s not good enough for opponents exemplified by freshman California Sen. Kamala Harris. Her March 23 Op-Ed in the San Francisco Chronicle suggested strongly that she and like-minded Democrats want a justice who will legislate from the bench. She made that clear by quoting the late Justice Thurgood Marshall, who once explained, “You do what you think is right and let the law catch up.”
Gorsuch remarked to the Senate Judiciary Committee that, “A good judge starts with precedent and doesn’t reinvent the wheel.”
Senate Democrats following Schumer’s lead, however, seem determined to reinvent the Supreme Court.