Weekly Column: Judge Gorsuch an Excellent Choice for Supreme Court
Americans mourned the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly last year in the middle of the presidential election. Justice Scalia was one of the strongest defenders of the Constitution who fought fiercely against judicial activism and legislating from the bench. Replacing him will be extremely difficult, and is of the utmost importance, as Supreme Court Justices can dramatically alter the course of our nation in just one vote.
President Trump has made an excellent choice in nominating Judge Gorsuch to replace Justice Scalia on the bench. An avid outdoorsman, Judge Gorsuch was born in Colorado, educated at Columbia, Harvard and Oxford, and for the past 10 years has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver. He has previously clerked for Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. Throughout his career, he has a clear record of following the Constitution as it was written and following the rule of law. We believe Judge Gorsuch espouses the same approach as Justice Scalia and has a strong understanding of federalism upon which our country is built.
In our federal system, the Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the country and has ultimate jurisdiction over all federal courts. Because the current makeup of the court is evenly split between conservative and liberal-leaning justices, filling this 9th spot is as important as ever. This next justice has the potential to hold incredible influence over the ideological direction of the court for a generation to come. The Supreme Court is the final authority for interpreting federal laws and the Constitution. It is one of the most important responsibilities in our federal system.
That is why the decision was made early on by Leader McConnell and others to give the American people a voice in the process of replacing Justice Scalia, by waiting to confirm the next Justice until the 45th President was in office and able to nominate someone him or herself. We held that belief even when it looked like our party would not win the presidency. But as we have been reminded, elections have consequences. The American people chose to elect President Trump, who throughout his campaign said that he would nominate someone “in the mold of the late Justice Scalia.”
President Trump made good on fulfilling that promise when he nominated Judge Gorsuch to the Court. Judge Gorsuch is greatly respected on both sides of the aisle. In fact, he was previously confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit unanimously – with not a single Republican or Democrat member of the Senate dissenting. Nearly a dozen Democrat Senators who did not oppose his nomination in 2006 still serve in the Senate today, including Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Diane Feinstein and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
As such, we expect the Senate will continue its tradition of approving highly competent, qualified individuals to the Supreme Court in an up or down vote following a thorough vetting process. We owe it to the late Justice Scalia, our judicial system, the Constitution and every American to see his conformation through.