Today is a great day to be an American. Among other things, Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed to the Supreme Court and become Justice Gorsuch. He will take the seat formerly held by the remarkable Justice Antonin Scalia.
The case against Neil Gorsuch: there wasn’t one. The Democrats’ opposition to Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation constituted little more than an assertion of political will conforming to the fantasies of the Democrats’ deranged base of activists.
Yet Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and his Democratic colleagues purported to make out a case against Judge Gorsuch himself. Here allow me to revisit the local angle — doing the job the Star Tribune won’t do.
We were offered the spectacle of Minnesota Senator Al Franken tangling with Judge Gorsuch on an issue of statutory construction. Franken hasn’t been funny in a long, long time — I remember a night in the summer of 1976 when he tried out some decent new material with Tom Davis at the old Dudley Riggs satellite workshop on the West Bank in Minneapolis — but Franken arguing statutory construction with Gorsuch was comedy gold. “When there is a scrivener there” — priceless. New frontiers in creepy clowndom.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is a fount of amiable vacuity. She issued a statement on March 28 articulating her opposition to the confirmation of Judge Gorsuch. The statement is posted here. She is using the statement in a form letter responding to constituents who write her on the subject. The statement doesn’t say much and it is not candid.
It would have been so much more straightforward for Senator Klobuchar to acknowledge that she was toeing the party line, as always. She could have shortened up her statement if she had simply explained that Schumer told her what to do. Such a statement could have done double duty accounting for her vote in favor of the filibuster against Gorsuch’s confirmation, but on that she (predictably) chose to remain mum.
If Judge Gorsuch were not such a sterling nominee, it is doubtful that the weak sisters among the Republican caucus would have remained onboard to extend the Reid Rule. In the event, however, Judge Gorsuch vindicated Mitch McConnell’s long game and allowed President Trump to fulfill the promise that attracted many of us to vote for him.
Thank you, Senator McConnell. Thank you, President Trump.
And congratulations to Judge Gorsuch.