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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.

Editorials and Opinion


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These 638 Editorials by 301 newspaper editorial boards in all 50 states and DC represent well over 95 percent of the newspaper editorial board opinions revealed by comprehensive online research. Click State names on first page for Editorial Board links/excerpts for each State.

Gorsuch’s record does not paint him as a friend to women (Washington Post, 02/24/17)
Neena Chaudhry, National Women’s Law Center: The Feb. 19 front-page article “Gorsuch reliably right, but intensely attentive” relied on one case to try to paint Judge Neil Gorsuch as not predictably conservative. I helped represent the female victims in that lawsuit as a lawyer with the National Women’s Law Center. The case was a no-brainer.... The NWLC opposes his nomination because his record gives us no confidence that he would do the right thing for women in more difficult cases.

Sen. Nelson, stand strong against Gorsuch nomination | Opinion (Sun Sentinel [FL], 02/24/17)
Shevrin D. Jones, member of the Florida House of Representatives: Judge Gorsuch is not the fair-minded or independent voice we need on the Supreme Court — or the check we need on executive powers. Instead, his record shows someone who puts his ideological agenda above the Constitution, and wealthy corporate interests above ordinary Americans. I urge Sen. Bill Nelson to take a stand and defeat this nominee.... Judge Gorsuch has an extreme record that makes clear he would not be looking out for the rights of workers or consumers. He would not defend civil rights for all Americans or safeguard the rights of women. He would not protect the environment. He would not protect voters. Gorsuch has criticized progressives who sought protections and brought constitutional challenges to the courts. In fact, Gorsuch is even to the right of where Justice Scalia ruled on a number of these issues. His decisions have shown a pattern of siding with big corporations over the rights of workers — ruling against protecting workers from sexual discrimination or whistleblower retaliation. He even voted to overturn a fine against a company whose employee died on the job because of lack of training.

Letter to the editor: Two-way street (Santa Fe New Mexican, 02/24/17)
Kenneth Alan Collins: The Republican Party conducted a scorched-earth campaign against President Barack Obama and all his efforts. This reached its nadir never seen before with the president’s intent to fill a Supreme Court vacancy to the detriment of the country and the Constitution. ... Regardless of any qualities Judge Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, has, the real issue is that it cannot be a one-way street: ... It is absolutely essential that citizens prevail on any wavering Democratic senators of the need, this time, for a 100 percent united front.

[Editorial] Before considering Gorsuch, give Judge Garland a hearing in Washington (Anniston Star [AL] , 02/23/17)
By the editorial board: senators have a little less than a month to do right by Merrick Garland, the traditions of the Senate and the U.S. Constitution. In short, senators owe Judge Garland a hearing and a vote before taking up Gorsuch’s nomination.... Republican senators decided to go on strike, to play for time on the chance that a Republican would replace Obama as president.... Senators are not required to vote for a president’s nominee. They insult their legislative body and the Constitution by refusing to vote on a president’s nominee.

Letter to the Editor: THE 2020 CAMPAIGN HAS BEGUN (The Courier [OH] , 02/23/17)
Mike Hocanson: It appears that nominee Neil Gorsuch will have to be put on the sideline with Merrick Garland. Per Mitch McConnell and Republican leadership, “once the political season is under way, and it is, action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over.” Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign officially got underway Feb. 18 at the Orlando-Melbourne International Airport. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer admitted this wasn’t a presidential event, it was a campaign rally.

Don’t Believe the Right: Gorsuch’s Yellowbear Case Reveals Nothing (People For blog, 02/23/17)
Paul Gordon: Looking past a party’s character and religion are among the most basic of basic requirements for a judge.... Judge Gorsuch ruled correctly in a case that really could not have turned out any other way at the circuit level.

Letter to the editor: Justice (Santa Fe New Mexican, 02/23/17)
Marcia Wolf: Prior to the Republicans’ low-road snub of Judge Merrick Garland (President Barack Obama’s nominee) that turned the highest court into a partisan institution, our Senate worked together in appointing justices.... the partisan acts pursued and implemented by Republicans over recent years has created a situation by which Democrats can no longer abide. A full rebuke of the Republicans’ Supreme Court power grab and nominee is in order.

Jeffrey Toobin: The right to privacy puts textualists on the spot; if you really believe only in the rights specifically enumerated in the Constitution, that’s a narrower set of rights than most Americans believe they have and value.... The Brown case, which is an unassailable touchstone of Supreme Court precedent, presents one of the toughest issues for originalists, because the decision was a clear departure from an originalist approach. But, if it was appropriate to depart from the intent of the authors of the Fourteenth Amendment in Brown, doesn’t that open the door to other departures from originalist dogma?... Gorsuch should address the modern concept, championed by many conservatives, that the First Amendment requires the all but total deregulation of political campaigns.... Do religious people have to follow laws that violate their consciences? Do they have to pay taxes? Do their children have to go to school? ... do visitors give up all their rights, like the right to equal protection of the laws? Can we ban all black people from coming to the United States? All Jews? All Muslims?

70-plus questions for Sen. McConnell | Letter (Courier-Journal [KY] , 02/22/17)
Mary Hamilton: Here are the questions your constituents would like to have been able to ask: ... Why do you think (Judge Neil) Gorsuch should have a Supreme Court hearing when Trump has already begun campaigning for 2020? You firmly stated you were against having hearings during campaigns.

Gorsuch a threat to LGBTQ Montanans (Independent Record [MT], 02/22/17)
Kim Leighton: Gorsuch himself, under the guise of religious freedom, has supported companies like Hobby Lobby in denying birth control to female employees. He also argued in a dissent for defunding Planned Parenthood. LGBTQ Americans can’t risk having an anti-LGBTQ ideologue on the highest court in the land. Join me in urging Sen. Tester to stand up for the Constitutional rights of all of us and strongly opposing Donald Trump’s extreme SCOTUS pick.

Letter: Supreme Court nominee put religion before Constitution (Newsday [NY], 02/22/17)
Gerald O’Connor: I very much hope Sen. Chuck Schumer will support a filibuster of the appointment of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch .... Gorsuch showed a willingness to put his religious beliefs above his fidelity to the Constitution in the Hobby Lobby case.

Trump's ability to remake the federal courts is a lot harder than the numbers suggest (Conservative Review, 02/22/17)
Nate Madden: As Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz points out elsewhere, the process to find solid Constitution-revering jurists will be undoubtedly stymied in the upper chamber thanks to federal statute, traditions, and the “blue slip” rule in the Senate Judiciary Committee: "One of the reasons why we have many liberal judges from Republican presidents — such as Judge Robart, a W appointee — is because Democrat senators can “blue slip” any nominee from their state they dislike. Under Senate tradition, the Judiciary Committee will refuse to hold a hearing on any nominee that is officially opposed by the home state senators. This is why it’s so hard to get even a marginally conservative judge approved from blue states, much less someone in the mold of Clarence Thomas. Even in red states with two GOP senators, the judicial nominees often reflect a legal mirror image of their political views, which are moderate at best. And in states with senators from opposing parties, Republicans have often cut deals to approve only those nominees who are acceptable to their home state Democrat senator."

History Will Judge: A Look at Garland’s Nomination in Polarized Washington: The GOP’s obstruction of Garland was genuinely unprecedented and a threat to the institutional integrity of the Supreme Court. (The Politic [Yale Univ.], 02/22/17)
AHMED ELBENNI: If there existed a candidate who could appeal to both sides in Washington’s partisan environment, it was Garland.... Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell argued that Presidents in their election year should not nominate anybody to the Supreme Court. Instead, this should be left to the next president. However, historical precedent shows that there is nothing anomalous about Supreme Court justices being nominated and confirmed by Congress during an election year, even in cases where the executive and legislative branch were divided between two parties.... Republicans and southern Democrats filibustered Fortas’s nomination, sinking it via an aggressive campaign. It was their defeat of Fortas, not the Democrat’s rejection of Bork, that shifted the criterion of Supreme Court confirmations from one based on technical qualifications to one grounded in political ideology. Even if one were to ignore this history, Bork’s example does little to justify the current Republican blockade. Firstly, Democrats did not refuse to consider Reagan’s nominee, only to confirm him—this is well within the bounds of standard protocol. Equating such behavior to the modern GOP’s refusal to even hold hearings for the nominee is dishonest. Secondly, six Republican senators joined the Democrats in voting against Bork, a different affair from the purely partisan gridlock that kept Merrick Garland out.

Republicans are Hijacking the Courts. Will Senate Democrats Let Them? (Huffington Post, 02/22/17)
Algernon Austin: Many have called the theft of the Judge Merrick Garland’s appointment unprecedented, but this statement is not quite correct. It is unprecedented only if one ignores the fact that several of President Obama’s judicial appointments to lower courts were also blocked. Because Republicans blocked the appointment of Garland and many other judicial appointments, they have now delivered all of those seats to Trump. What will Democrats do about this? Will they allow Trump to stack the judiciary or will they insist that these are stolen seats and therefore they do not belong to Trump? In my view, a reasonable Democratic response would be to work to block Trump judicial appointments in proportion to the degree that Obama’s appointments were blocked.

The Dissents of Judge Neil Gorsuch: Far to the Right and Out of the Mainstream (People For blog, 02/22/17)
Elliot Mincberg: Many, if not most, decisions by the Supreme Court and the courts of appeals are unanimous. Reviewing the cases where an appellate judge has chosen to disagree with and dissent from his or her colleagues, therefore, can be particularly revealing. And that is precisely the case with Judge Neil Gorsuch. Judge Gorsuch’s dissents from his colleagues on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals are consistently right-wing, generally seeking to favor big business and other authority and harm the interests of workers and those who have suffered abuse by government officials. And this is on a court which, until recently, consisted primarily of Republican appointees like Gorsuch.

Judge Gorsuch Should Not Be Confirmed (Missourian, 02/22/17)
Christine Guinther, Letter to the Editor: Nominee (Neil) Gorsuch has proven himself to be a judge who would defy the Constitution and moreover will not consistently support civil rights, voting rights and the rights of the working class. His record on police brutality and workplace discrimination is not indicative of the high standards that we need demonstrated in the highest court in the land.

Letter to the Editor: We need a justice for all (St. Louis Jewish Light, 02/22/17)
Rabbi Susan Talve: Judge Neil Gorsuch, has already shown that he cannot serve without inserting both implicit and explicit bias into his judicial decisions. There is too much at stake to allow for his confirmation. ... I urge our legislators to reject this nomination and work together to find a nominee who we can trust to be a justice, not just for some, but for all.

Letter: Kudos to Schumer for questioning Gorsuch (Albany Times Union [NY], 02/22/17)
Brenda Bergstrom: Sen. Charles Schumer's reservations about President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, ("Schumer leery of Gorsuch comment" Feb. 10 ) indicate the caution that characterizes true leadership.... Particularly glaring is his history concerning environmental regulations. Basically, he disputes the "Chevron Doctrine," which holds that courts should defer to the scientific findings of government agencies in determining challenges to enforcement of laws. Such challenges often come from industries objecting to environmental regulations. We can see where Gorsuch's approach would lead: that judges can disregard science and that corporations' rights override the rights of ordinary citizens to clean air, water and a livable climate. Because Gorsuch, like his mentor Justice Antonin Scalia, reveres the rights of corporations to free speech, he has shown no interest in restricting the role of big money in politics.

The Public Pulse, Feb. 22: Gorsuch shouldn’t get Garland’s seat (Omaha World-Herald [NE] , 02/22/17)
K.M. Davies: the seat for which he has been nominated should have been filled months ago. So, no sale.

Trump’s SCOTUS pick no friend to working families (Great Falls Tribune [MT], 02/21/17)
Kim McKeehan: As a social worker in Great Falls and a member of the Little Shell Tribe, I am writing to voice strong opposition to the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.... Gorsuch’s extreme record flies in the face of everything working Montana families hold dear, including access to healthcare and basic workers’ rights. He has a history of rolling back protections for workers in favor of big corporations. ... I expect Sen. Tester to stand up against Trump’s nominee and continue to fight for the rights of women, workers and all Montana families by opposing Gorsuch’s confirmation.

Letter: Judge Gorsuch and Gay Rights (New York Times, 02/21/17)
HARPER JEAN TOBIN: several appeals courts have held that federal law prohibits job bias against transgender workers. Judge Gorsuch joined a ruling that employers were free to fire a transgender woman by citing unsubstantiated “safety reasons” about her using workplace restrooms — a view several other courts have rejected.... The signs are simply too strong that Judge Gorsuch’s America is one in which L.G.B.T. people can be refused service at restaurants, hotels and doctors’ offices, and employers could hang an “L.G.B.T. Need Not Apply” sign.

Review Gorsuch's positions (Philadelphia Inquirer [PA], 02/21/17)
Lorrie McKinley and Stephen F. Gold, Letter to the Editor: The Senate should also review Gorsuch's views regarding people with disabilities and explore his understanding of the civil rights provisions in place to protect them. The Supreme Court will soon decide (unless deadlocked) what level of educational benefits for children with disabilities states are required to provide to ensure a free and appropriate public education - a meaningful benefit (as required in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware), or, as Gorsuch has espoused, only something "more than de minimus."... Senators should ask whether Gorsuch's nondisabled children received a meaningful or only trivial level of education and whether something just north of de minimus provides children with disabilities an equal opportunity.

Gorsuch must show commitment to a democratic America (Cincinnati Enquirer [OH] , 02/21/17)
Joseph P. Tomain: Garland is also known for his fairness, decency, temperament and commitment to the rule of law. What distinguishes these two nominees is only one thing – politics.... The failure of the Senate to honor its constitutional duty by holding hearings on Garland highlights how politicized the Court is currently.... Can the White House benefit cronies and harm citizens by increasing safety risks and pollution, reducing or eliminating cost savings, and raising costs to consumers? Or can the will of Congress override the administration’s power grab by safeguarding agency action discharged in the public good? These questions will face the Supreme Court. Where does Gorsuch stand?

Neil Gorsuch sides with big business, big donors and big bosses: His record shows he probably won't help rein in corporate power. (Washington Post, 02/21/17)
Prof. Zephyr Teachout: Gorsuch’s record on the bench reveals a man with a strong top-down streak, a preference for concentrated wealth and power. He has consistently been the friend of big business and monopolies at the expense of competition and open markets, and the friend of big donors at the expense of small donors. In disputes between the employee and employer, he sides with the boss.... On antitrust, Gorsuch has repeatedly blessed actions by big firms to exploit their dominant position. His rulings reveal a tendency to reward concentration of private power and to enfeeble the laws and public institutions tasked with keeping the economy open and competitive. ... Gorsuch’s views on antitrust and campaign finance go hand in hand. They reveal a judge who will further open the way for a few wealthy people to rob the American people of their basic freedoms and properties, and to subvert our democracy once and for all.

OTHER VOICES: Say no to Gorsuch, whose manifesto bodes ill for climate change fight (Las Vegas Sun, 02/21/17)
Billy Corriher: Anyone concerned about the health of our environment should oppose Gorsuch’s nomination. If Gorsuch is confirmed, his approach to reviewing regulations suggests that he could vote to limit the EPA’s ability to address climate change.... Even Justice Antonin Scalia, who Gorsuch would replace, defended Chevron and the need for judges to defer to agency experts.

Printed Letters: Everyday Americans should not support Neil Gorusch (Daily Sentinel [CO], 02/21/17)
VALERIE ETTER: Neil Gorsuch is a conservative jurist who would ignore most American citizen’s wishes to be more centrist or left-of-center.... Gorsuch’s purview would be to protect religionist, corporatist, and originalist, which will not protect the rights of gays, workers, or women — some important populations that the originalists could not have foreseen as this minimalist country became much grander in scale over time.

We need a court nominee who can be a justice for all (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette [PA], 02/20/17)
KADIDA KENNER, Letter to the editor: President Donald Trump won only 46 percent of the vote — far from a mandate to make lifetime appointments of extremist judges in a judicial system for which he has shown little respect. As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said ahead of the election, “The American people are perfectly capable of having their say on this issue, so let’s give them a voice.” The answer was clear: More Americans voted for Mr. Trump’s opponent than they did for the president himself. Because of that, a consensus nominee for the Supreme Court makes the most sense. Judge Neil Gorsuch is not that nominee. On the bench, Judge Gorsuch repeatedly sided with insurance companies wanting to deny disability benefits, and with employers who wanted to cut pension benefits....They should resist extreme nominees like Judge Gorsuch and demand that only nominees with bipartisan support be confirmed and only with a supermajority of at least 66 senators in support.

Should Judge Gorsuch Answer? [Letter to the Editor] (New York Times, 02/20/17)
DAVID F. TAMANINI: refusal to answer questions about issues that might come before the court is a sham. Supreme Court justices are each entitled to the final say on whether or not to recuse themselves from a case. If a justice has a notion that he can remain impartial, he is the only arbiter of the question. Therefore, the demand is fair; answer the questions, please.

Milt Hankins: Senate should give both court nominees a vote (Herald-Dispatch [Huntington, WV], 02/20/17)
Milt Hankins: The U.S. Senate refused to hold hearings on, or consider, Judge Merrick Garland, the nominee of President Barack Obama almost a year ago.... It was purely political posturing by the Senate against the president.... I think that BOTH Judges Merrick Garland, Obama's choice, and Neil Gorsuch, Trump's choice, should be given hearings in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee followed by a vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate, and may the best man win! ... the Senate has a constitutional obligation to deal with nominee Garland before they consider nominee Gorsuch.