I have had a few people, admittedly not many, ask me what I think of President Trump’s nomination for the Supreme Court. For many voters, this was the reason that they voted for Trump. Specifically, they were concerned about who Hilary Clinton would nominate, if elected President.
So, many were able to put aside other “Trump issues”. It either became a vote of “anybody but Hilary” or “Vote Trump for the sake of the Supreme Court”. Trump managed to even become the rallying choice of many churchgoers. Others just liked the idea of a Trump Presidency to just “shake things up!”. And here we are!
So who is Neil McGill Gorsuch? It’s easy to see the “resume material” by going to Wikipedia. And during his judicial career, he authored more than 200 decisions while serving as a federal appellate judge for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
He was included in over 800 judicial votes as part of the appellate majority opinion. Some of his opinions have been in favor of forced arbitration, which usually infers a leaning toward corporations who don’t want to be subject to jury trials. This leaning is also inferred from a 2005 brief that he wrote, while in private practice.
In that brief, he denounced class action lawsuits against corporations, by shareholders. He wrote, “the problem is that securities fraud litigation imposes an enormous toll on the economy, affecting virtually every public corporation in America at one time or another and costing businesses billions of dollars in settlements every year“. Then he took a shot at attorneys who handle these claims by noting that limitations on class action lawsuits by requiring arbitration also have the effect of causing, “the free ride to fast riches enjoyed by securities class action attorneys in recent years … to hit a speed bump”.
I don’t think that anyone could find a judicial nominee that they can totally agree with on all issues. Unfortunately, Senators now seem to find agreement, based on party affiliation.
I guess my fascination relates to the issue of whether judges should be confirmed because of their qualifications, or because of whether a Senator agrees with them on issues.
Past history used to be, that if a President nominated a potential judge, that the Senate would be predisposed to approve them. Because the Constitution does not list any qualifications for service as a Justice; the only consideration is Presidential nomination, and then approval by the Senate.
History has some great stories about the nomination process that includes President Reagan withdrawing the nomination of Douglas H. Ginsburg, because of reports that he had smoked marijuana. Going back to Justice Felix Frankfurter (great name for a Justice), he appeared before the Senate to answer questions as to whether he was a communist. And, Merrick Garland’s 2016 nomination will be an answer to a trivia question.
Will this next confirmation hearing give us more interesting history?
And for pic o’ day, this is completely unrelated to anything in the blog, except that it made me smile!