The Empty Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing – by Linda Greenhouse – NYT

“The Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing for Judge Neil M. Gorsuch was just plain embarrassing, and not only for the nominee. But let’s begin with him, skipping over his Republican enablers, who had nothing to do but lob softball questions and praise his answers. If Judge Gorsuch wasn’t the least forthcoming Supreme Court nominee ever to appear at a confirmation hearing, it’s hard to imagine one who could be less forthcoming while still breathing. More interesting and less predictable answers could have come from Siri on an iPhone.

The previous contender for the title of least forthcoming was Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016 and whom Judge Gorsuch would replace. Nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and confirmed unanimously, then-Judge Scalia wouldn’t even tell the Judiciary Committee whether he supported Marbury v. Madison, the landmark 1803 decision in which the court under Chief Justice John Marshall established the principle that federal courts can invalidate unconstitutional statutes.”

Thank you Linda Greenhouse. I especially liked your defense of Ruth Ginsberg, who did actally answer many questions.

Here is a comment I reluctantly agree with. I say reluctantly, because I watched most of the hearing, and liked Gorsuch. He was warm, appealing and impenetrable.

PaulB

Cincinnati, Ohio 4 hours ago

The only way to judge a nominee is by his/her lower court rulings. Stealth jurists such as David Souter are exceedingly rare; most judges are consistent in their decisions, and leave a law library filled with past cases that reveal their judicial philosophies. Gorsuch, on that evidence, is a staunch conservative who, if past is prologue, will do great damage to church-state separation, support the disgrace of campaign finance as free speech, and limit the options of women under the law.

It is the Republican Senate, not Gorsuch, that have brought the nation to this miserable juncture. Their refusal to even consider Merrick Garland will stand as precedent for many years as the quintessential example of the legislative branch’s usurpation of the judiciary.

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