Christina Maxwell: Senate Democrats cannot give Gorsuch a pass

Sunday, February 12, 2017
Senate Democrats cannot give Gorsuch a pass

Although I agree that Judge Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, seems a respectable, stable man, I disagree with the suggestion that those qualities make him a choice with which Democrats should be satisfied.

Some legal analysts assert that he is unlikely to overturn previous court cases, yet he declines to say if he would adhere to Roe v. Wade. Contrary to the idea that he has displayed “fundamental respect for others,” his reticence on this matter shows a serious disrespect for women and a disregard for their rights.

Too many important issues are at stake — the Affordable Care Act, voting rights, and marriage equality among them — for Democrats in the Senate to give him a pass. Judge Gorsuch privately called Trump’s denigration of judges with whom he disagrees “disheartening” and “demoralizing,” but he has yet to make those comments publicly.

Trump’s remarks are an assault on the democratic cornerstone of separation of powers, and Senate Democrats must use the confirmation process to demand that Gorsuch say so out loud. To avoid doing so would show him not to have the courage of heart that we need at this moment. A Supreme Court justice must be prepared to rebuke presidential overreach when it happens.

Senate Democrats cannot fight this fight alone. They have stood shoulder-to-shoulder in a futile attempt to prevent Trump’s worst nominees from making it to the Cabinet. But without votes from several Republicans, there is little they can do besides create a loud, messy speed bump on the road to confirmation.

Nonetheless, it is crucial that they continue to speak about the shortcomings of Trump’s nominees, ask tough questions, point out threats to hard-won rights, and remind Senate Republicans and Trump that much of the country disagrees with virtually everything they are doing.

Christina Maxwell