It’s been over a year since Justice Antonin Scalia passed away and left a vacant seat on the Supreme Court. President Obama attempted to fill that seat with Judge Merrick Garland of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Republicans in Congress, however, refused to give Judge Garland a hearing, citing the fact that since it was President Obama’s final year in office, the appointment should wait until after the election. Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-KY) was noted as saying that this waiting period would “give the people a voice in the filling of this vacancy.” Merrick Garland was never given a confirmation and so Justice Scalia’s seat went vacant. It remained vacant until January 31st, 2017, when President Trump announced that he would nominate Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill Justice Scalia’s seat. Judge Gorsuch is a federal appellate judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Many Congressional Democrats, including Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, have been opposed to nominating Judge Gorsuch. Many speculate that this move by Democrats is a way of exacting revenge on Republicans and pushing for a progressive member of the Supreme Court at a time where the liberal platform is being squandered in all branches of the government. The question is: do the Democrats have a right to exact revenge and protect their political beliefs or is it their duty to hold a confirmation hearing for Judge Gorsuch?
Some might say that what the Democrats are doing is quite Hammurabian. The proposed action is essentially an “eye for an eye.” However, Mahatma Gandhi once that “an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” I would have to agree with Gandhi and completely disagree with the Democrats decision to deny Judge Gorsuch a hearing. I disagree with a lot of what Judge Gorsuch says and believes. However, I do agree that Judge Gorsuch is qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice. He holds degrees from Columbia University and Harvard Law School and he also received a Doctorate in Legal Philosophy from University College, Oxford. He practiced law in a highly successful private D.C. law firm from 1995-2005. He was a partner of said law firm from 1998-2005. In 2002, Gorsuch wrote an op-ed piece criticizing the Senate for delaying the nomination of now Chief Justice Roberts and Merrick Garland (It’s a small world) to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He was nominated to his current position by President George W. Bush in May of 2006.
As is obvious Judge Gorsuch has had a long and promising legal career and is clearly an educated man. I do not mind the Democrats opposing Judge Gorsuch because of his interpretation of the Constitution in a hearing, but their refusal to give him a fair shot because he was nominated by President Trump is just wrong. In fact, many of the Democrats advocating for the blocking of Judge Gorsuch’s nomination voted for him back in 2006, when Gorsuch was unanimously confirmed by the Senate. At this point, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, I do have to agree with Mitch McConnell, who called the Democrats hypocritical for attempting to block Judge Gorsuch, who they previously had favored. It has become clear that this block is all politics and has damaged the reputation of democracy. If the Democrats truly believe in democracy and the systems of our government then they owe the President, Judge Gorsuch, and most importantly the American people a fair hearing. Judge Gorsuch did the right thing in 2002 by defending Merrick Garland and John Roberts against the Senate’s refusal to expedite their confirmation. Now it is time for the American people to defend Judge Gorsuch. To conclude, I pose this question to the Congressional Democrats: Has an eye for an eye made YOU blind?
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Do you agree with Democrats in blocking the nomination of Judge Gorsuch?