ROGER WICKER: Democrats threatening to block final vote
I am disappointed that some Senate Democrats are seeking political cover by opposing this well-qualified nominee.
Most Americans who watched Judge Gorsuch during his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee saw him as I did – measured, thoughtful, and dedicated to upholding the law. The American Bar Association has given him its top rating, adding to Judge Gorsuch’s impressive credentials. Even the former acting solicitor general for President Obama wrote in the New York Times that “if the Senate is to confirm anyone, Judge Gorsuch … should be at the top of the list.”
It seems absurd for Senate Democrats to block Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation. Judge Gorsuch is a mainstream pick with extensive experience and widespread support from both conservatives and liberals. In 2006, he was approved unanimously to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. And yet, some of the same Democrats who confirmed him a decade ago now insist he needs 60 votes to serve on the Supreme Court.
This so-called “60-vote standard” for Supreme Court nominees does not exist. The current court demonstrates this fact: Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito were confirmed by only a simple majority. Under normal circumstances, we would see an overwhelming vote for someone as capable as Judge Gorsuch.
The charge against Judge Gorsuch is that he is somehow not in the judicial mainstream, but his record demonstrates otherwise. He has decided more than 2,700 cases over the past 10 years and been overruled by the Supreme Court only once. He has almost always been in the majority when making decisions as part of a panel of judges for the court. Likewise, he and the other judges have been unanimous in their decisions 97 percent of the time. This is hardly a radical pick for the Supreme Court.
I believe Judge Gorsuch would be an excellent addition to the Supreme Court. President Trump pledged to nominate someone to the bench who – like Justice Scalia – is even-handed and faithful in his application of the law. Last November, American voters entrusted President Trump with that responsibility, and he has followed through on his promise.
Judge Gorsuch has a record of defending the constitutional rights and freedoms of Americans. He understands our government’s separation of powers and the independent role that the Supreme Court occupies, away from policymaking and activism. Judge Gorsuch reminded the Judiciary Committee that “a judge who likes every outcome he reaches is probably a pretty bad judge, stretching for policy results he prefers rather than those the law compels.”
I hope Senate Democrats will put politics aside and join in confirming this undeniably qualified nominee without delay. Judge Gorsuch is exactly the right person to fill the ninth seat on the Supreme Court.
Roger Wicker is a U.S. Senator from Mississippi. Contact him at 330 W. Jefferson St., Tupelo, MS 38803 or call (662) 844-5010.