Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Could Have Been Worse
On Tuesday night, Trump announced he was nominating Neil Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court, and non-political scholars asked themselves, “who that?”
Well, after examining the evidence, there’s some good news and some bad news.
The bad news is Neil Gorsuch is conservative af and relatively young — 49 — which means we’ll be stuck with him for most of our lives.
But the good news is, he could be worse.
Side note: isn’t it depressing when the only good news is that somebody could be worse?
Anyway, here’s a list of reasons why it’s probably not the end of the world this man is probably about to sit on the Supreme Court until he dies in 30-40 years.
1. He’s experienced
He graduated from Columbia, Harvard and Oxford, clerked for two Supreme Court justices and since 2006 he’s served on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Colorado.
2. At least one person we all have a common friend with thinks he’s a nice guy
This dude who went to Harvard with Obama also went to Harvard with Gorsuch and thinks he is “a great guy.”
Hearing rumors Trump’s likely Supreme Court pick is Neil Gorsuch, my (and President Obama’s!) 1991 Harvard Law classmate.If so, a great guy!
— Norm Eisen (@NormEisen) January 31, 2017
2. He has never spoken out against Roe v. Wade
Despite his years of experience, thus far Gorsuch has never ruled directly on whether Roe v. Wade should be a thing or not, which is good news.
Sadly, there’s also some bad news.
In 2009 he wrote what sounds like a tediously boring book I wouldn’t even read for $20 called “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,” in which he states, “human life is fundamentally and inherently valuable” and that “the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.”
Granted we don’t know whether this man considers a fetus a human life, but if he does, well, let’s just say things don’t look too good for ol’ Roe v. Wade.
3. He has ties to the EPA
His mom, Anne Burford Gorsuch, was the head of the EPA during the beginning of the Reagan administration, which could turn out to be an asset.
Then again, during her 22-month tenure at the EPA — she resigned because of scandal — she thought the EPA was too wasteful and a boner killer to big business, so she cut the budget by 22%, fired a bunch of people and gutted anti-pollution regulations.
Okay, so maybe this is more of a neutral association than an outright positive.
Damn you, Gorsuch family history!
4. He thinks the judiciary branch should have more influence over the government
Ever since 1984, there’s been a policy in place that judges should defer to federal agencies when interpreting ambiguous federal laws.
Obviously, some judges, like Ann Donnelly, aren’t into that kind of stuff when it goes against what they think is constitutional, and it looks like Gorsuch feels the same.
In a ruling last August, Gorsuch argued the meaning of the law is for judges to decide, not federal bureaucrats, which at least gives hope that even though Trump nominated him to the court, Gorsuch won’t just be another yes man.
5. He doesn’t cater to conservatives
Despite what it may seem based on how much Republicans and Democrats fight over the Supreme Court appointments, judges are not supposed to be affiliated with a political party — they’re supposed to defend the constitution and protect citizens’ rights.
As Jeffrey Rosen of the National Constitution Center wrote in a statement to Politico:
“Like Justica Scalia,” that dude who died last year, which is why there’s a open spot in the Supreme Court at all, “[Gorsuch] sometimes reaches results that favor liberals when he thinks the history of text of the Constitution or the law require it, especially in areas like criminal law or the rights of religious minorities.”
That kind of sounds like should Trump’s Immigration Ban be brought forward in a case to the Supreme Court that Gorsuch might be like, “bruh, this policy is wack, better luck next time.”
But even though Neil Gorsuch could be worse, at times like these I’m reminded of that classic, but eternally annoying Adele song “Rolling in the Deep.”
We could have had it all.
After all, Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill Scalia’s seat last year, but Republicans decided to be the absolute worst and refuse to confirm any nomination before the new president came into office — even though Merrick was an old white dude who’s more of a moderate than a bleeding heart liberal, which should have been more than enough to satisfy those petulant Republicans.
But, in the words of another old white dude, “Alas, earwax.”
Merrick Garland, this should have been you.
We almost had it all.
Rolling in the deep.