Democratic Leader Senator Chuck Schumer was on fire Thursday when he announced his opposition to President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, forcing 60 votes for confirmation.
“After careful deliberation, I have concluded that I cannot support Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court. His nomination will have a cloture vote, he will have to earn sixty votes for confirmation. My vote will be “No.” And I urge my colleagues to do the same,” the top Democrat said, according to the Senator’s floor remarks sent to PoliticusUSA.
“To my Republican friends who think that if Judge Gorsuch fails to reach 60 votes we ought to change the rules I say: if this nominee cannot earn 60 votes, a bar met by each of President Obama’s nominees, and President Bush’s last two nominees, the answer isn’t to change the rules – it’s to change the nominee.”
Schumer laid out the reasons he’s voting no, starting with “Judge Gorsuch was unable to sufficiently convince me that he’d be an independent check on a president who has shown almost no restraint from executive overreach.”
“Second, he was unable to convince me that he would be a mainstream justice who could rule free from the biases of politics and ideology…. And finally, he is someone who almost instinctively favors the powerful over the weak, corporations over working Americans. There could not be a worse time for someone with those instincts.”
Schumer called Gorsuch out for evading questions, “Let me repeat: there is no legal standard, rule or even logic for failing to answer questions that don’t involve immediate and specific cases that are or could come before the court. It is evasion, just evasion, plain and simple. And it belies a deeper truth about this nominee.”
And then Schumer got to the glaring Republican disgrace of their unprecedented and willfully partisan and political obstruction of President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, “In the hearings, Judge Gorsuch repeated the hollow assertion that judges don’t have parties or politics. He said there are no “democrat judges or republican judges.” But if that were true, we wouldn’t be here, would we? If that were true, and if the Senate was merely evaluating a nominee based on his or her qualifications, Merrick Garland would be seated on the Supreme Court right now.”
That was a rather brilliant point. We would not be here if Republicans weren’t treating the Supreme Court like a partisan get out the vote tool, or perhaps an offer to Russia tool, which is by extension, it seems, a Republican get out the vote tool.
“Merrick Garland is not a Justice. We all know why. We all know that my friends across the aisle held this Supreme Court seat open, for over a year, in hopes that they would have the opportunity to install someone hand-picked by the Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society to advance the goal of big-money interests entrenching their power in the courts.”
Schumer slammed them for proceeding as Donald Trump is under FBI investigation for colluding with a hostile foreign government that attacked the U.S. in an act of war, “They don’t even mind that this nomination is moving forward under the cloud of an FBI investigation of the president’s campaign. The Republicans held a Supreme Court seat open for a year, under a Democratic president, who was under NO investigation, but now are rushing to fill the seat for a president whose campaign is under investigation. It is unseemly and wrong to be moving so fast on a lifetime appointment in such circumstances.”
“That’s all the evidence my colleagues should need to vote no – and I urge them, and will urge them in the days ahead, to do so,” Schumer concluded after a long, detailed explanation about why he doesn’t think Gorusch is fit.
Liberals, Democrats, Independents, and anyone who values tradition, the Constitution, justice, and the sovereignty of the United States should rejoice at Schumer’s stance.
Democrats have limited power to stop Gorsuch, but there is absolutely no justification for moving forward on his confirmation when Trump has already appointed Russian gatekeepers in all other positions of government that might serve as a check to him/Russia.
All investigations into Donald Trump’s campaign and their possible collusion with Russia need to be completed before a lifetime appointment is made by what seems to be a Russian Trojan Horse of a president.
Chuck Schumer is leading Senate Democrats to be the patriots who took a stand for democracy and their country when Republicans would not. It’s not easy for Democrats to say no, and be unwilling to try to make government work. Democrats have a deep belief in the ability of the government to do good, and indeed its responsibility to do good for the people.
This belief has been exploited by Republicans for too long, but Schumer saying no isn’t a petty move. It is a patriotic move, and a courageous move, because it could result in McConnell changing the Senate rules.
But enough with Republican terrorism. Sometimes people need to stand up for what’s right even when it could be very costly. One thing is certain, the majority of the base will be very, very happy with Schumer – as will Independents and those Republicans who are side-eying the current administration and wondering what happened to their party.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.