Minnesota Senator Al Franken is not a lawyer, but he plays one on the Senate Judiciary Committee. A former comedian, he hasn’t been intentionally funny in a long, long time. He was laughable when he sought to educate Neil Gorsuch on an undisputed issue of statutory construction in one of the cases heard by Gorsuch on the Tenth Circuit. Adam White offers remedial instruction on the case here.
Franken cited a nutshell on statutory construction to support his performance. Franken poured great emotion into the line: “It makes me question your judgment.”
I know the feeling.
In the matter of Judge Gorsuch the Democrats don’t have any ammo. That was the best Franken could do. The Democratic lawyers on the committee didn’t do any better.
Take my other Senator — please. Amy Klobuchar is a lawyer, but she’s not up to the task of vindicating the talking points someone set her up to make with Judge Gorsuch yesterday. In the event, she only proved her own vacuity.
The Democratic bench is thin. Both Franken and Klobuchar see themselves as presidential material. Franken plays to the Democrats’ angry left. Klobuchar specializes in avoiding controversy while faithfully toeing the party line. A while back, for example, she addressed the crisis of the detergent pod.
Senator Klobuchar specializes in steering clear of outspoken stands on significant issues. She looks for opportunities to lead the way on trivialities calculated to garner broad public support. Although Senator Klobuchar is a reliable vote for the Democratic Party line, she is quiet about it. She doesn’t want to upset anybody.
Senator Klobuchar wrote her supporters during the hearing yesterday. She numbers “Hind” among her friends. This is what she had to say by email to “Hind” and others during the hearing yesterday:
Yesterday, I made my opening statement at the Supreme Court hearing.
I told Judge Gorsuch that his nomination comes at an unprecedented time in our country’s history — a singular moment of constitutional and democratic unease. Pillars of our democracy and our Constitution — including freedom of the press, an independent judiciary, and free and fair elections — are at risk.
For that reason, my colleagues and I on the Senate Judiciary Committee can’t evaluate him within the comfort of a legal cocoon, but in the context of the era in which we live. Over the next few days, we will ask the judge questions on everything from campaign finance to preserving protections for health, safety, and education.
The decisions made by the Supreme Court have a profound impact on the lives of all Americans. It is our duty to determine if Judge Gorsuch will uphold the motto etched into the Supreme Court building and help all Americans achieve “equal justice under law.”
As always, thank you for your support,
The question here is whether Democrats will filibuster Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation and make Republican kill the filibuster to confirm Judge Gorsuch to the Court. I don’t think they are that stupid.
Klobuchar’s message leaves her options open. She wants us to know that she is thinking deeply outside “the comfort of a legal cocoon.”
Okay, she needs better material. Nevertheless, when she does whatever she is asked to do, she trusts we’ll understand.