With all the hoopla over the House Intelligence Committee first public hearing on Russian involvement in the U.S. election, President Donald J. Trump asserted once more that the issue was nothing more than an elaborate political distraction. “This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!”
Overshadowed is the more important Gorsuch Confirmation Supreme Court nominee hearings and for all to see, the public spectacle in full display just how far removed from reality the Democrat ideology truly is and continues to be.
Judge Neil Gorsuch defended his judicial record on the first day of his confirmation hearing, preempting attacks by Democrats who accused him of being insensitive (MUH feelings) to the human side of his cases.
Giving an opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday afternoon, President Trump’s nominee to fill the open seat on the Supreme Court said he has tried to “treat all who come before me fairly and with respect.”
“I’ve ruled for disabled students, for prisoners, for the accused, for workers alleging civil rights violations, and for undocumented immigrants,” he testified. “Sometimes too I’ve ruled against such persons. My decisions have never reflected a judgment about the people before me, only a judgment about the law and facts and issues in each particular case. A good judge can promise no more than that, and a good judge should guarantee no less.”
Gorsuch’s comments came after nearly four hours of opening statements by the Senators on the committee and responded to Democratic concerns that he often sides with corporations at the expense of individuals.
“I have not seen that the rights of minorities are a priority for you,” Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii said to Gorsuch in her opening statement. “In fact, a pattern jumps out at me. You rarely seem to find in favor of the little guy.”
Multiple other Democrats cited the so-called “frozen trucker” case, in which Gorsuch dissented against a man who was fired for abandoning his truck in sub-zero temperatures when he feared for his health. That freezing night was “not as cold as your dissent, Judge Gorsuch,” Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said pointedly.
But Gorsuch advanced a conservative vision of his role as a judge and possible future justice, arguing that even if he doesn’t like the result of a case, that does not mean the legal reasoning isn’t sound.
“If judges were just secret legislators, declaring not what the law is but what they would like it to be,” he said, “the very idea of government by the people and for the people would be at risk.” And he said Justice Anthony Kennedy taught him that “a case isn’t just a number or a name, but a life story.” (Gorsuch once clerked for Kennedy and if he’s confirmed, the two would become the first ever justice and former clerk to sit on the Supreme Court together.)
Gorsuch also presented statistics to sway Democrats who say they’re trying to determine whether he’s in the legal “mainstream,” the criteria Democratic leader Chuck Schumer set forth for his confirmation.
“My law clerks tell me that 97% of those 2,700 cases I decided [on the 10th Circuit] were decided unanimously,” Gorsuch said, “and that I’ve been in the majority 99% of the time. That’s my record.”
Monday marked the first day that senators have had the chance to publicly probe the Supreme Court nominee after more than a month of private meetings— Gorsuch laughed when dozens of cameras swarmed him and began furiously clicking as he took his seat. But Tuesday is when the conflict will begin in earnest, as Gorsuch faces his first day of questioning.
Ted Cruz slamed Democrats’ hypocrisy during Gorsuch confirmation hearing.
“Some Democrats slandered Judge Gorsuch,” Cruz explained, “as being ‘against the little guy’ because he has dared to rule based on the law, the law that Congress has passed, and not on the specific identity of the specific litigants appearing before him. This is absurd.”
“Many of these same critics have spent the last eight years attacking the Little Sisters of the Poor,” Cruz continued, “a Catholic charity of nuns for having the audacity to live according to their deeply held religious beliefs.”
You really need to take a long look in the mirror if one day you find yourself attacking nuns, attacking the Little Sisters of the Poor, and the next day, you find yourself orating on the need to protect the little guy.
“A judge’s job is not to protect the little guy or the big guy,” Cruz said. “A judge swears an oath to uphold the Constitution and to follow the law fairly and impartially for every litigant, little or big.”
My client is The Law NOT MUH Feelings!
Judge Neil Gorsuch’s opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee
I want to thank my fellow judges across the country. Judging is sometimes a lonely and hard job. But I have seen how these men and women work with courage and collegiality, independence and integrity. Their work helps make the promises of our Constitution and laws real for us all.
I want to thank my legal heroes. Justice White, my mentor. A product of the West, he modeled for me judicial courage. He followed the law wherever it took him without fear or favor to anyone. War hero. Rhodes scholar. And, yes, highest paid NFL football player of his day. In Colorado today there is God and John Elway and Peyton Manning. In my childhood it was God and Byron White.
I also had the great fortune to clerk for Justice Kennedy. He showed me that judges can disagree without being disagreeable. That everyone who comes to court deserves respect. And that a legal case isn’t just some number or a name but a life story.
Justice Scalia was a mentor too. He reminded us that words matter — that the judge’s job is to follow the words that are in the law — not replace them with words that aren’t. His colleagues cherished his great humor too. Now, we didn’t agree about everything…The Justice fished with the enthusiasm of a New Yorker. He thought the harder you slapped the line on the water, somehow the more the fish would love it.
Finally, there is Justice Jackson. He wrote clearly so everyone could understand his decisions. He never hid behind legal jargon. And while he was a famously fierce advocate for his clients as a lawyer, he reminded us that, when you become a judge, you fiercely defend only one client — the law.
By their example, these judges taught me about the rule of law and the importance of an independent judiciary, how hard our forebearers worked to win these things, how easy they are to lose, and how every generation must either take its turn carrying the baton or watch it fall.*