By Jacob Vandever
In the past I have been critical of Republicans in Congress for being too obstructionist. That being said after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in regard to the Supreme Court my personal motto became “Obstruct, Baby Obstruct”. Nothing against Judge Merrick Garland himself, compared to some of the other Justices in the liberal bloc I think Garland would have made a solid addition to the Supreme Court, but his elevation to the High Court would have tipped the balance in favor of the liberal bloc and that would have had wide ranging consequences.
Because the stakes are so high when it comes to the Supreme Court, Republicans should do whatever it takes to get Judge Neil Gorsuch confirmed. For many conservatives who were skeptical of Donald Trump, the prospect of a conservative nominee to the Supreme Court was a driving force behind their reluctant support. Thankfully President Trump followed through on his promise to nominate a conservative in the vein of Antonin Scalia, so now it is imperative to get Judge Gorsuch over the finish line.
Unfortunately our own Senators here in Oregon have come out strongly against Judge Gorsuch.
Despite having voted to approve Judge Gorsuch for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, Ron Wyden release a statement that said:
“The Gorsuch nomination represents a breathtaking retreat from the notion that Americans have a fundamental right to Constitutional liberties, and harkens back to the days when politicians restricted a people’s rights on a whim,”
Senator Merkley, never one to be outdone, pledged to block Trump’s nominee before he even knew who it was.
While I am disappointed in my Senators, that is not a novel sentiment.
The Supreme Court’s decisions ripple out influencing American laws for decades to come. In 2008 a conservative court confirmed the Right to Bear Arms as an Individual right for the first time in the DC vs. Heller case. Since 1973 every American law regarding abortion has been judged on the basis of the ruling by the Court in Roe v. Wade, or other Supreme Court cases that refined that decision. These are not small inconsequential decisions.
While Judge Gorsuch’s appointment would only get us to a court that was similar in make up to the Court a year ago when Justice Scalia was alive, should President Trump get an additional appointment following Judge Gorsuch, we could see a new renaissance of Conservative/Originalist jurisprudence.
An expansion of gun rights, limits on federal power, a national right to work policy, free speech protections, and more would all be possible with Supreme Court dominated by the conservative bloc.
So we need Judge Gorsuch confirmed by any means necessary. Whatever political price needs to be paid, I say we pay it. If we need to pull out the “Nuclear Option” to overcome a Democratic Filibuster, then let’s go nuclear.
For all I care Donald Trump could spend the remainder of his Presidency play golf in Mar-a-Lago, If he secures the Supreme Court for conservatives for the next few decades I will consider his time in office a success.