Some say that for Donald Trump this was going to be “one of the most important decisions of his term as President”. If that is so, then he has accomplished an important part of his mission already after one week in office. While furor is raging in the media over his decrees on immigration, his pick for the Supreme Court leaves no wishes open: Neil Gorsuch, a man with excellent credentials both as a judge and as an academic, who is generally considered to be a worthy successor to Antonin Scalia both on account of his intellectual capacities and moral integrity. It will be impossible for “Liberals” – except perhaps those who hold on to the belief that a judge’s role is to create the law rather than to apply it – to find reasonable arguments to object to this nomination.
Even the New York Times, under no suspicion of being “conservative” or “Trump-friendly”, has an op-ed in which Neal K. Katyal, an acting solicitor general in the Obama administration, and law professor at Georgetown, writes that he was “hard-pressed to think of one thing President Trump has done right in the last 11 days since his inauguration – until Tuesday, when he nominated an extraordinary judge and man, Neil Gorsuch, to be a justice on the Supreme Court.”
At the same time, the NYT also publishes an interesting piece on “why Democrats should oppose Neil Gorsuch”. In it, it is openly admitted that, “as qualified as he may be”, Gorsuch “does not deserve confirmation, because the process that led to his nomination was illegitimate”. In other words, even his opponents have no doubts that the man picked by Trump is perfectly qualified – but they seem to think that this nomination has somehow been “stolen” from them, i.e. that they were the rightful “owners” of that post at the Supreme Court. This tells a lot not only about the author’s flawed understanding of the function of the judiciary, but is also illustrative of how the judicial activism that the Left considers a legitimate way of changing the law has politicized the Supreme Court and undermined the balance of power between key institutions.
If Mr. Gorsuch is appointed, liberal judges with a penchant to judicial activism will still hold a 5-4 majority at the US Supreme Court. It would be necessary to replace one of those activist judges before the Court can even begin to think about reversing some of the most blatant aberrations of judicial history, such as the “right to abortion” fabricated through Roe v. Wade, or the re-definition of marriage through “Obergefell v. Hodges”. It is very much hoped that President Trump, whose ability and willingness to pick good lawyers has now been evidenced, will soon get the possibility of making another nomination.