It’s been over a year since Supreme Court Justice Scalia died and his seat has been vacant all of that time , thanks to GOP obstructionists, such as Mitch McConnell. The Republicans did not have enough civility to even interview Obama’s nominee for the seat, Merrick Garland. Instead they ignored both Obama and Garland and waited for the new president to be sworn in, hoping it was a Republican. Now that that disaster has happened and Trump is in office, they are all gung ho in filling Scalia’s seat. Trump has nominated Neil Gorsuch, a Conservative Republican judge from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Yesterday was his first day of confirmation hearings before members of the Senate.
Watching his appearance it seemed as his whole performance, especially in answering questions form GOP senators, was very well rehearsed. He was very confident, to the point of arrogance in all of his answers and statements. He declined to reveal any of his views on the many matters which could come before the court in the future. To me he was a squeaky clean arrogant rich white guy completely devoid of any empathy towards people. This feeling was shored up by the questioning by Sen. Al Franken, in regards to the truck driver who almost froze to death and was fired by his employer for leaving his vehicle. The truck driver sued his former employer and Judge Gorsuch was the only member of the court to side with the employer in this law suit, sticking strictly with the letter of the law and disregarding any feeling towards the truck driver. This case is known as the “frozen truck driver”.
Gorsuch sided with Hobby Lobby in a lawsuit regarding an employer having to provide birth control to employers. He agreed with the owners of the company’s view that birth control was against their religious beliefs. To me this totally disregards the religious beliefs of the employees and allows discrimination by religious zealots. This really scares me for the potential future rulings of the Supreme Court in regards to LGBT rights, abortion rights, women’s rights and same sex marriage.
It is highly unlikely that Gorsuch will not be confirmed as the Democrats don’t have enough votes to block the nomination. As he is replacing Scalia on the court there will not be a significant change in the direction of the court since he is as far right or even more right than Scalia was. There is a lot more about Gorsuch that we do not know, but I am sure we will find out. For me the bottom line is that Gorsuch is going to be seated on the court in a position that was stolen from Merrick Garland. If Gorsuch, indeed had any integrity he would refuse the nomination, in favor of Garland. But I am sure he can’t wait to put his far right stamp and conservative religious views on American society through his stolen seat.