One of the main criticisms of the Trump Administration is that it is unprofessional and uneducated when it comes to civil service and the rule of law. Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court Neil Gorsuch is anything but that, and Democrats should not block his confirmation.
Gorsuch comes highly qualified for the Supreme Court. He attended Columbia for his B.A. and then got his law degree at Harvard. President Bush appointed him to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2006. He is praised on both sides of the aisle as an intelligent and fair-minded jurist, winning respect both from politicians and legal scholars alike.
Gorsuch has been characterized as the new Justice Scalia. Like Anthony Scalia he is a steadfast textualist. When looking to make decisions, he relies on the text of the Constitution rather than legal history or the current political climate. Though it seems illogical, this constitutional view can work in favor of those who staunchly disagree with Gorsuch on a variety of topics. For example, Gorsuch disagrees with both the Supreme Court’s decision and more specifically Justice Scalia on Chevron v. NRDC, a case administrative law. While this might not seem like the most interesting area of law, it is especially relevant when it comes to the Trump Administration. Chevron v. NRDC gives regulating agencies large control over the rules that govern their territory. The interesting thing is that these agencies serve within the executive branch and with that comes the possibility of the enormous pressure from the head of the executive branch.
Gorsuch is essentially arguing for limiting executive power, something that appeals to a lot of Democrats right now. This is where being a textualist comes into play, the expansion of presidential power in the last hundred years has been largely due to a very broad interpretation of the Constitution rather than a strict one. This is something that currently a lot of Democrats fear and President Trump surely appreciates. Gorsuch is a strict believer in having the actual text of the Constitution govern a President’s actions. This leads to a very limited interpretation of presidential power.
Gorsuch is a good pick for Supreme Court Justice because it could be a step in a bipartisan direction. Democrats are the minority in the Senate, and three-fourths of the Senate are needed to confirm a Supreme Court Justice, but there are only 52 Republicans. Democrats could therefore attempt to block his nomination, but most likely this will not happen. Democrats blocking a qualified nominee like Gorsuch could be used as ammunition by Republicans to block pieces of Democratic agenda and undermine Democrats in the press. This is why Democrats should help confirm Gorsuch. Not only will it be a good pick, but it might also allow Democrats to compromise with Republicans on other issues.