US Democrats are furious and speak of a “stolen nomination”, given that Scalia had died early enough for then President Barack Obama to make an attempt to replace Scalia, an outstanding and well-respected with yet another judicial activist who might have helped in further promoting the Democrats’ radical social agenda. This would have been Obama’s third Supreme Court appointment, and suffice it that the first two Justices he appointed, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, both were avid supporters of the abstruse judicial putsch that resulted in outlawing the understanding of marriage as a union of a man and a woman, which was until very recently shared by every civilized nation in the world. It is understandable that the Republicans did not want yet another judge like that on the Supreme Court and therefore decided to give Obama’s nominee, Merric Garland, not even the chance of a hearing. This was not Garland’s fault, but rather Obama’s – and it illustrates to what extent Obama had betrayed and lost the Republicans’ confidence in his ability and/or willingness to nominate judges that would not, once appointed, misuse their power. (The recent episodes around President Trump’s perhaps ill-advised, but doubtlessly legal decree on immigration just provides further proof for the point…).
It remains to be seen whether Neil Gorsuch really is a worthy successor of Antonin Scalia. But when Democrats describe a judge as “conservative”, “arch-conservative”, “reactionary”, or similar, it is because that judge, rather than pushing their radical agenda through decisions that have no basis in law, simply wants to discharge his duty as he should: apply the law, not his own fancies. This is also what President Trump expects from Gorsuch: “He will decide cases based not on personal preferences, but a fair and objective reading of the law.”
That is the fundamental difference here: judicial activism is a monopoly of the political left; it is a sin that the conservative side has never committed. The tactics with which the Republicans prevented the confirmation of Merrick Garland were therefore perfectly legitimate, whereas the Democrats’ guerrillero tactics to block the appointment of Mr. Gorsuch from going forward was not. It was an ill-advised and childish revenge, which (again legitimately) prompted the Republican majority to change the rules of procedure to forestall such “filibustering in the future”. And there is another difference to be noted: when the Republicans decided not to give a hearing to Mr. Garland, they simply used, in a perfectly legitimate manner, their majority in the Senate: their assent to the appointment was required, and they withheld it. By contrast, the Democrats’ filibustering was a misuse of procedure – they had not got a majority that would actually have allowed them to block Mr. Gorsuch.
Let us hope that President Trump will get a chance not only to replaceone serious lawyer with another, as he has done now, but indeed to replace some of the irresponsible abusers of judicial powers that are currently sitting on the Supreme Court (by which of course we mean those who perverted justice through the 5-4 decision on sodo-“marriage”).