President Donald Trump has raised the stakes of this debate since his nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch with tweets and tirades against the judiciary, either oblivious or outright opposed to the role an independent judiciary is supposed to play in our government: one of checks and balances.
Those checks are critically important with the current administration, given the disturbing and unresolved issues surrounding Trump’s administration and his repeated, publicly expressed disdain for a separate and equal judicial branch of government, as mandated by our Constitution.
The American people deserve a consensus nominee whose loyalty is to all of the American people and our American values, not one president or one party.
But Gorsuch has shown he is far from that. His record shows him to be far to the right on nearly every issue. He is a staunch backer of favoring corporations and limiting workers’ rights, supported giving judges more power to strike down federal rules that protect consumers and the environment and has shown himself to be an extremist who believes corporations belong in the bedroom and your boss ought to be able to decide if you can have access to birth control through your insurance.
For these reasons, Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court ought to be resisted. Democrats should hold Republicans to account, and both parties should work to put the American people and the rule of law first.
Our federal courts are critically important to issues such as protecting voting rights and participation in the political process; ensuring equal treatment for all regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation; protecting access to comprehensive health care; and ultimately providing a check and balance on the powers of Congress and the president.
A seat for life on the Supreme Court can shape how cases are decided and rights are protected, or lost, for decades. For the health of our democracy, the reward for Republicans stealing a seat on the Supreme Court ought not be the lifetime appointment of a right-wing judge who could shape the direction of our nation’s highest court for decades. But that is just what Trump, aided and abetted by his Washington, D.C., acolytes willing to put party before patriotism, are attempting.