Why elections matter: Neil Gorsuch and U.S. Supreme Court balance

Judge Neil Gorsuch was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Donald Trump. (Screen capture: YouTube, Wall Street Journal)
Judge Neil Gorsuch was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Donald Trump. (Screen capture: YouTube, Wall Street Journal)

One look at Capitol Hill on Monday, where Judge Neil Gorsuch appeared for hearings on his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court explains why elections matter, and especially the one last November.

As Reuters observed, “With the ideological balance of the Supreme Court at stake, a U.S. Senate committee began its high-stakes confirmation hearing on Monday for conservative appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s nominee for a lifetime job as a justice.”

Veteran Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, had this to say: “Judges are not free to re-write statutes to get results they believe are more just. Judges are not free to re-order regulations to make them more fair. For sure, judges aren’t free to update the Constitution. That’s not their job.”

Imagine if it were Hillary Rodham Clinton in the White House and Sen. Charles Schumer heading the Judiciary Committee. Gorsuch would not be the Supreme Court nominee, and the high court’s ideological balance would be headed for a crash.

If it is true that men are judged by their enemies, here is something worth considering.

Pete Ambler, executive director of Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun control group founded by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and husband Mark Kelly, was quoted weeks ago by USA Today observing, “His irresponsible record indicates he would actually weaken the gun laws on the books.”

Early last month, the Seattle-based Alliance for Gun Responsibility launched an email fund-raising blast that labeled Judge Gorsuch a “gun-extremist.” The group then declared, “Trump’s friends in the Gun Lobby LOVE Gorsuch for his gun-friendly judicial rulings. He’ll even make it easier for criminals to obtain guns — and harder to prosecute them.”

Fox News’ running coverage of the hearings Monday noted that anti-gun Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) warned “against originalism” and stated that “the Founders’ intention (was) to make the Constitution a framework ‘intended to evolve as our country evolves.’”

Fox also noted that Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) alleged that Judge Gorsuch was “selected by extreme interest groups.”

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) suggested that the Heller and McDonald rulings benefited firearms manufacturers. He attacked several 5-4 rulings, and he intimated the Second Amendment was about the military “until the gun lobby” wanted something different. He accused the high court conservatives of being “activists.” Fox noted that he ripped the court majority for “conceding to the gun lobby” and asserted that “Their findings of fact were factually wrong.”

Second Amendment activists will consider this as proof positive that Capitol Hill Democrats continue to harbor disdain for gun rights rulings in 2008 and 2010. And that is why elections matter.


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