Editorials and Opinion
[Editorial] Neil Gorsuch and the State’s Power to Kill (New York Times, 04/21/17)
"In short, the first significant decision by Justice Gorsuch, who was sworn in to office less than two weeks ago, was the most consequential any justice can make — to approve a man’s killing by the state.
That man, like so many others condemned to die around the country, was a walking catalog of reasons the American death penalty is a travesty. Evidence that Mr. Lee was intellectually disabled and suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome was never introduced into court, mainly because he had egregiously bad representation.... That 4-to-4 split effectively gave the deciding vote over Mr. Lee’s life to Justice Gorsuch, sitting in a seat that by all rights should be occupied not by him but by President Barack Obama’s doomed nominee, Merrick Garland.
During his confirmation hearings, Justice Gorsuch talked a lot about his respect for the rule of law, and the importance of sticking to the plain text of the Constitution and of statutes. But he didn’t have to rewrite the Eighth Amendment to see, as Justice Breyer did, that Mr. Lee’s case exemplified “how the arbitrary nature of the death penalty system, as presently administered, runs contrary to the very purpose of a ‘rule of law.’ ”
Neil Gorsuch held the power of life and death in his hands Thursday night. His choice led to Ledell Lee’s execution, and gave the nation an early, and troubling, look into the mind-set of the high court’s newest member.
[Editorial] Gorsuch wrong for Supreme Court (Philadelphia Tribune [PA], 04/11/17)
"Gorsuch’s judicial record shows that he has consistently decided to protect corporations, and limit the rights of minorities, women, and workers.... Gorsuch’s “orignialsim” method of interpreting the constitution is absurd....the original understanding of the Constitution is unknowable, and even if it could be known, should not be binding today.... If constitutional interpretation must follow the specific intentions of the framers, as Gorsuch wrote, the results often will be unacceptable if not absurd.... Article II refers to the President and vice-president with the pronoun “he.”... The same Congress that ratified the Fourteenth Amendment also voted to segregate the District of Columbia public schools. Under an originalist philosophy, Brown vs. Board of Education was wrongly decided and laws mandating segregation were constitutional."
EDITORIAL: Gorsuch nomination a reminder of why we don’t like Congress (Powell Tribune [WY], 04/11/17)
"It was only about an hour after the announcement of Scalia’s death that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, proclaimed that Republicans would refuse to consider anyone Democratic President Barack Obama nominated for the open seat.... The Senate’s Republican leadership — a group that includes our own Sen. John Barrasso — was wrong to refuse to consider any Obama nominee and it was an abuse of the Senate’s power to “advise and consent.”... Republicans altered the Senate’s rules so they could confirm Gorsuch’s nomination with a simple 54-45 majority (rather than the normally required 60 votes). ... it seems to us that members of Congress should feel some obligation to play by the rules, rather than constantly searching for any opportunity or excuse to break them."
[Editorial] Our View: Politics put Gorsuch on court (Daily Nonpareil [Council Bluffs, IA], 04/09/17)
"The final confirmation vote came after Senate Republicans rewrote the chamber’s rules, voting to eliminate the 60-vote filibuster threshold on Supreme Court nominees. The change allowed the Senate to proceed to the final vote with a simple majority.
With that move, dubbed the “nuclear option,” Republicans ensured the ruling party in the Senate will always have the final say on a Supreme Court pick.... Merrick Garland’s nomination should have been debated by the Senate. Absent a skeleton in his closet being discovered, Garland should have been the new Supreme Court justice, not Gorsuch.... Grassley, chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee, blocked a committee vote on the nomination and the debate on Garland never reached the Senate floor. Republican leaders said they wanted voters to decide on the court seat in the November election.
Of course, there was an election before that, when in 2012 voters chose another four years of Obama.... The election year argument just doesn’t hold water. ... Grassley was wrong. So were those who followed his lead."
Editorial: McConnell’s cynical plan pays off (Kokomo Tribune [IN] , 04/09/17)
"Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, broke two longstanding American political traditions during the last 13 months, and it will pay off for decades to come.
The first attack on the rules began shortly after Associate Justice Antonin Scalia died Feb. 13, 2016. President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland .... Though many Republicans, including Sen. Orrin Hatch, president pro tempore of the Senate, had spoken highly of Garland just days before, there his nomination sat, untouched for 293 days.... The second custom to fall came after the newly minted Republican President Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch .... McConnell and the GOP implemented the “nuclear option” for Supreme Court nominees for the first time. This meant that these appointments would no longer require a 60-vote supermajority to be confirmed, but instead a simple majority. And, with that, Gorsuch, not Garland, was confirmed .... Taken together, these moves represented the culmination of an incredibly cynical, and ultimately successful, plan by McConnell and the Republicans. ... Time will tell if the GOP will regret busting these norms. ... But, for now, they’ve played dirty pool and won."
[Editorial] Mitch McConnell, 1 Senate, 0 (Frederick News-Post [MD], 04/09/17)
"The senior Republican senator from Kentucky made good on his word when he authorized a move to end Senate Democrats’ filibuster of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch this week, effectively detonating the dreaded “nuclear option,” which required only a simple majority to approve Gorsuch’s appointment to the high court.... When Reid invoked the nuclear option, he did so because McConnell was leading the charge to filibuster even low-level appointments by Obama.... by giving up the filibuster on this case, McConnell has given away one of his best defenses against executive branch excess.... all sides agree, the biggest loser this time around is neither Democrats nor Republicans — it’s the U.S. Senate."
Editorial: Gorsuch approved, but at what cost? (Record [NJ] , 04/09/17)
"Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell elected to exercise the so-called “nuclear option,” to change Senate rules so as to pave the way for a straight up-or-down, simple majority vote on President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch. The move, after Senate Democrats had chosen to filibuster, and require the majority Republicans to secure 41 votes in order to move Gorsuch’s name forward, signaled a departure from long-held tradition, and could be a sign of a more partisan rancor in days to come.
The development was disheartening on many levels, because the Senate once was considered the congressional chamber where common sense ultimately held sway, where tempers and egos were checked, or at least restrained, to protect the institution.... in reality, we all lost .... many court observers from both ends of the spectrum believe the end result will be a much more political Supreme Court, with the potential for more future nominees with extremist views."
Editorial: Thumbs up, thumbs down (Quad City Times [IL,IA] , 04/08/17)
"Thumbs down to the "nuclear option."
Republicans in the U.S. Senate dropped that parliamentary firestorm this week after Democrats vowed to block Judge Neil Gorsuch from the Supreme Court. The Democratic filibuster strategy dared Republicans to toss aside decades of precedent that required 60 votes to move on a Supreme Court nominee.
The Senate has traditionally been the home of bipartisan compromise.... senators from both sides of the aisle lamented this week's upheaval. And that's because it's another step toward turning the Senate into just another destructively partisan legislative body."
Editorial: ‘A body blow’ to the Senate (Addison Independent [VT], 04/06/17)
"Senate Democrats will oppose the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court for many good reasons. And if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is to be believed, he will employ the “nuclear option,” perhaps forever changing the rules of the Senate to approve Gorsuch’s nomination by a simple majority vote. The Republican Party will then have successfully denied President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in an affront to Senate rules and tradition, while also changing Senate rules to put Trump’s first nominee onto the Court.
To those who say it’s no big deal and is a “good thing” to employ the “nuclear option,” as McConnell maintains, Republican Sen. John McCain had this response: “Idiot, whoever says that is a stupid idiot,..." ... this significant change in the nation’s political discourse and function has been the extremism of today’s Republican Party. It started most recently with Republicans filibustering almost all of President Obama’s appointees to his administration, not because of their qualifications or conflicts of interests or any valid concern, but simply to slow down his agenda. That prompted Senate Democrats to employ the “nuclear option” for Obama’s appointments .... To think that this further blow to the institution will be “good” is to live in a world of falsehoods, afraid to speak the truth of the harm that is being done by their own actions. It will be McConnell’s legacy, much as Sen. Joseph McCarthy is a footnote"
Editorial: Civil Rights Act protects LGBT (Kokomo Tribune [IN] , 04/06/17)
"[A]n 8-to-3 decision Tuesday by the full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago may have reframed the text to include protections for a previously unlisted group: LGBT employees.... Posner’s ruling in this case takes a broader interpretation of the law to account for the world we live in now. Like Scalia, Neil Gorsuch — Trump’s nominee for the open SCOTUS seat — is a strict constructionist. This means interpreting law exactly as written and nothing else. We believe Posner and the majority ruled correctly in this case. We hope the nation’s highest court will follow the same logic if this case reaches their chambers."
[Editorial] A death knell for bipartisanship (Sacramento Bee [CA] , 04/06/17)
"The U.S. Senate has long prided itself as a deliberative body, less partisan than the House and more devoted to consensus.
That tradition is in tatters after Republicans forced through a rules change Thursday so on Friday they can confirm Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee. Instead of requiring a supermajority of 60 votes to cut off filibusters and move to an up-or-down vote, it now only takes a simple majority of 51 votes.
It’s called the “nuclear option,” and for good reason. It obliterated whatever bipartisanship was left, and the fallout will be felt for years to come. The rules change applies to future Supreme Court nominees, further politicizing the high court.... Republicans are more responsible recently.
They routinely blocked Barack Obama’s nominees for federal judgeships when Democrats controlled the Senate, so in 2013, then-Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada invoked the nuclear option for judicial nominees and executive appointments.
Then when conservative Justice Antonin Scalia died unexpectedly last year, Republicans stole the lifetime appointment from Obama."
[Editorial] Senate should first give Judge Garland a hearing (Anniston Star [AL] , 04/06/17)
"Garland never received a hearing or a vote. It’s like Senate Republicans went on strike for almost a whole year, refusing to do a job required by the U.S. Constitution.
The way forward that pays tribute to the Senate’s rules and procedures seems obvious. Before taking up Trump’s nominee, the Senate should give Garland a hearing and a vote before the full Senate. ... Senators of both parties who wish to avoid the nuclear option should press for a vote for Garland before taking up Trump’s nominee."
[Editorial] A sorry day for democracy and the high court (News & Observer [NC], 04/06/17)
"President Obama nominated a respected, moderate federal judge, Merrick Garland, 63, to fill the Supreme Court seat of Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly in February of last year. The then-president was doing his constitutional duty, and in Garland he chose an experienced judge who was hardly a liberal ideologue and clearly qualified for membership on the high court.... Republican senators in using the “nuclear option” of a majority-only requirement for approval, reject the very logic they used against Garland, that the people through their votes would let it be known what kind of justice they wanted. By that logic, the people wanted Garland, because three million more of them voted against President Trump than for him. This is a sorry day indeed for democracy, and Mitch McConnell, the hard-line Republican leader from Kentucky who signaled his ardent dislike for President Obama from the beginning of his two terms as the elected president of the United States, offers ridiculous logic for his maneuver.... The “norms” would have required a vote on Garland; the “norms” would have left in place the requirement that a nominee have 60 votes to avoid filibuster. McConnell is the one who “moved the goalposts,” and he knows it."
Editorial: Mr. McConnell’s moment (Albany Times Union [NY], 04/06/17)
"So the burden is on Senate Republicans — whether to use power to further erode one of the last protections against the tyranny of the majority, or to resurrect the spirit of compromise.
That’s what is at the heart of the “nuclear option” threat as the Senate considers President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Yes, Republicans can stop a Democratic filibuster and confirm a Supreme Court nomination by a simple majority vote. But that would be a mistake.
Democrats are right to try to block Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation. He is not the neutral referee of the law that supporters portray him to be; he is a partisan loyalist picked by Mr. Trump from a list compiled by right-wing groups .... Beyond specific rulings, like his absurd opinion supporting the firing of a trucker who left his disabled rig rather than freeze to death, is the concern over Judge Gorsuch’s affinity for originalism .... McConnell has another option: leave the filibuster intact, and take Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer up on his offer to work to confirm a more mainstream Republican nominee."
[Editorial] McConnell reaps harvest of division (Lexington Herald-Leader [KY], 04/05/17)
"During his years as minority leader, McConnell wielded Senate rules, such as the 60-vote requirement, like no one ever before. McConnell’s goal: block President Barack Obama’s appointments and legislative agenda. Last year, as majority leader, McConnell refused to give Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland so much as a hearing on the invented grounds that the appointment rightfully belonged to the next president.
Interestingly, McConnell refused during a Sunday appearance on “Meet the Press” to support formalizing his invented rule .... he has only his past actions to blame for Democrats’ stubbornness. ... Democrats, logically enough, think that easing Gorsuch’s confirmation would reward McConnell’s intransigence on the Obama nominee.... McConnell was so effective at blocking Obama’s nominees that President Donald Trump inherited almost twice as many judicial vacancies (an estimated 103) as Obama did (53).
Eroding the 60-vote requirement, also known as the filibuster, does alter the nature of the Senate in ways that McConnell once decried. The Senate would become less consenus-oriented and deliberative .... The objections to Gorsuch are rooted in substance not politics alone. The Coloradan came off less qualified in person than on paper. His record reflects an intemperate zeal to dismantle protections for workers, consumers, clean water and air.... McConnell, who perfected the obstructionist model, is reaping what he sowed."
Editorial: America needs supermajority Supreme Court opinions (Grand Forks Herald [ND], 04/05/17)
"It's called the "nuclear option" for a reason. When Senate Republicans blast open a Democratic filibuster this week and confirm Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, the move will lay waste to a long tradition.
And when the smoke clears, we'll see a much more fractured Senate."
Polarizing politics begets ‘nuclear option’: Editorial (Poughkeepsie Journal [NY] , 04/05/17)
"President Obama picked an eminently qualified judge to serve on the high court, but Senate Republicans refused to extend Merrick B. Garland a confirmation hearing. They indefensibly let that linger for 293 days, leaving a Supreme Court seat vacant following the February death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Democrats haven’t forgotten. Some contend Republicans are essentially stealing Garland’s seat, and they add that Gorsuch has refused to address questions on a host of important issues ... Considering these are lifetime appointments involving some of the most powerful people in the world, retaining the 60-vote, supermajority threshold for Supreme Court nominees would make considerable sense. It provides, among other things, a measure of bipartisan validation in a country deeply divided."
[Editorial] No to Gorsuch (Rutland Herald [VT] , 04/05/17)
"Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders are willing to filibuster the Gorsuch nomination, offended by the candidate’s evasiveness and alarmed by his ideological rigidity.... If they give in to McConnell they will have retained the right to filibuster but would have lost the power to exercise it. Instead, they would have surrendered to one of the most egregious power grabs in the nation’s history, allowing the Republicans to place their stamp on the judiciary in order to impose an agenda on the nation that the nation has shown no indication it supports.... The refusal of the Republicans to allow even a hearing on President Barack Obama’s appointment of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court showed that they were willing to scoff at their own constitutional obligations in service of their ideological and economic loyalties.
Gorsuch’s refusal to answer even the most basic questions about his thinking was an expression of the same contempt for Congress that McConnell displayed in refusing to allow a hearing for Garland. Gorsuch’s affable muteness sent a message: I am above the people and their concerns. I have no responsibility to anyone but the narrow band of millionaires and ideologues who have advanced my nomination and to the president who has declared war on the American government.
Much is at stake with the Gorsuch nomination. His own rulings suggest he adheres to a view that the high court went astray in the 1930s in decisions allowing the federal government to give rule-making power to agencies established to protect workers, consumers, investors, air, water, the purity of food and drugs.... Leahy and Sanders are taking a necessary and principled stand against the Republican effort to steal a seat on the Supreme Court.
[Editorial] Filibuster Gorsuch to make a crucial point (Charlotte Observer [NC] , 04/05/17)
"South Carolina’s senior senator, Lindsey Graham, led the charge in denying Merrick Garland a hearing after then-President Obama nominated Garland for the Supreme Court seat that needed to be filled in the wake of Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr underscored just how extreme the GOP has become when he declared that even if Hillary Clinton won the presidency, he would “do everything I can do to make sure four years from now, we still got an opening on the Supreme Court.”
He also bragged that he was already responsible for the longest judicial vacancy ever by denying the confirmation of an Obama nominee in the eastern district of North Carolina, illustrating just why Democrats felt the need to use the nuclear option for lower court appointments when they were in control. They did so in response to a Republican Party that routinely filibustered Obama nominees. While they haven’t gotten as much attention, that tactic left dozens of empty judicial seats throughout the country that can now be filled by President Donald Trump.... If Democrats simply went along and acted as though the GOP’s purposeful decision to leave the Supreme Court short-handed for a year was a legitimate exercise of political power, they would unwittingly be codifying that extremism.
And that would not be good for either party – or the country."
Editorial: Toomey’s rule change proposal threatens bipartisanship (Pitt News [PA] , 04/04/17)
The Pitt News Editorial Board: If Congressional Republicans thought they had gained the power to disregard the rules with their victories in last November’s elections, they couldn’t have been more wrong.
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., just signed onto a rules change to the Supreme Court nomination process that ... will likely harm both parties. The Pennsylvania senator announced last week at a press conference that he would support a move to modify the upper Congressional chamber’s rules in order to confirm Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court .... The GOP notably refused to consider Merrick Garland last year for Scalia’s seat. However, Senate Republicans were using this tactic of ignoring nominees long before they won control of the chamber. The GOP’s efforts to block Obama nominees to lower federal judgeships led to Senate Democrats in 2013 removing the procedural rule requiring a 60-vote supermajority to confirm presidential nominees to these positions.
Despite this change, more than 10 percent of these judgeships are now vacant, in large part because Democrats in the Senate have not held a 51-vote majority since the 2014 midterm elections.... a change to a 51-vote majority rule would erode several elements of the Supreme Court nomination and confirmation process that are vital to the institution’s integrity. Given Supreme Court justices’ power and long-term lengths, it’s important that individuals selected to be added both have majority support and appeal at least somewhat to citizens on both the left and right.... Toomey’s signing on to this proposed rules change is a short-sighted, lazy attempt to avoid doing the work of gaining bipartisan support for his party’s nominee, and will only contribute to the hyper-partisan atmosphere growing more and more omnipresent in Washington, D.C. If he is concerned about the integrity of the institution in which he serves, he will withdraw his support for this proposal.
[Editorial] Cory Gardner should reject the nuclear option: As qualified as Neil Gorsuch is, ending the Senate filibuster isn’t worth his confirmation (Denver Post [CO] , 03/30/17)
DENVER POST EDITORIAL BOARD: we strongly disagree with the strategy to deploy the rule change, as the filibuster it would end serves as a critically important safeguard that would be dangerous to lose.
The rule change, which would forever eliminate the filibuster from interfering with the Supreme Court confirmation process, would only exacerbate the hyperpartisan culture in Washington. Moreover, such a change would likely usher in a future in which the Senate loses its more deliberative contribution to American legislation.... Gardner won our support in 2014 because Congress was dysfunctional and needed a fresh leader. Here is his chance to prove he’s not a lockstep GOP minion, but a free thinker.... we don’t blame Democrats for their anger. Senate Republicans earned the opposition party’s wrath in deciding not to even debate President Barack Obama’s nominee, the also eminently qualified Merrick Garland, ... presidents have known in making their nominations that the hurdle exists, and have tailored their picks accordingly. ... Better to have the seat unfilled until senators can grow up and do right by the American people.
Trashing the filibuster over a single nominee would be doing a judge of Gorsuch’s caliber — and the nation — a terrible disservice.
EDITORIAL: Gorsuch is a perfectly qualified but fatally flawed candidate for the Supreme Court (Aurora Sentinel [CO], 03/27/17)
"[H]e misunderstands the Constitution’s driving force about religion, that to protect our “freedom of,” we must first protect our “freedom from.”... On the bench, Gorsuch wrongly allows the courts to protect the religious freedom of one citizen by denying the same rights of another. The most egregious example came in 2013 Hobby Lobby v Sebelius ruling.... Gorsuch went further than just signing onto the majority ruling. ... Gorsuch argued that their faith extended to a legal instrument created to pay taxes and create commerce. He said the government can’t impose a religion on a business, but a business can impose its religion on anyone,... Trump needs to offer a candidate who does suffer from Gorsuch’s fatal flaw.
Editorial: It's not Neil Gorsuch's fault, but we can't support his ascension to a stolen Supreme Court seat (Los Angeles Times, 03/25/17)
Editorial Board: these are not normal times.
Not after the outrageous obstruction of Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination for 10 full months by Senate Republicans. That debacle began in March 2016, when President Obama nominated Garland, a moderate and well-respected appeals court judge .... Instead of doing what the Constitution requires and offering their advice and, if merited, their consent, Senate Republicans refused even to engage in the process.... Some people think it’s hyperbolic to suggest that the seat was “stolen.” But how else to describe it? Republicans took the opportunity to fill the vacancy away from Barack Obama without justification and delivered it up instead to Donald Trump. Gorsuch could now tilt the balance on the increasingly polarized Supreme Court for the next 30 or more years ... President Obama’s nominee was robbed of his right to a hearing, and the Senate Democrats have no obligation to be complicit in the theft.
[Editorial] A Roadblock to the Court for Neil Gorsuch (New York Times, 03/24/17)
"Despite his insistence that he would approach every case with an open mind, his record strongly suggests he would rule the way Republicans would like in most, if not all, cases. Over three or four decades on the court, he would help push the law further to the right in many areas.
In a speech on the Senate floor, Mr. Schumer pledged to vote against Judge Gorsuch because, he said, “his career and judicial record suggest not a neutral legal mind but someone with a deep-seated conservative ideology.”
The best rationale for the filibuster, however, is the outrageous behavior of Mr. Schumer’s Republican colleagues, who refused even to consider Judge Merrick Garland, Mr. Obama’s highly qualified choice to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, in February 2016 — solely to hold the seat open for a conservative judge."
[Editorial] Neil Gorsuch deserves Supreme Court confirmation — but not if it requires the nuclear option (Dallas Morning News, 03/23/17)
"Republican leaders have called such opposition as unreasonable. We certainly think it's ill-advised. But we strongly disagree with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that it would justify his invoking the "nuclear option," upending Senate rules to lower that debate-ending threshold to a simple majority. We thought it was a bad idea, and so did McConnell, when his Democratic predecessor used the same approach to make Cabinet nominees and lower-court judgeships immune from the filibuster, after years of Republican obstructionism.
To double down on that bad precedent and extend it to one of the most important decisions the Senate makes ought to be anathema to McConnell. Embracing the nuclear option would stain the reputations of McConnell and other senators who support the move. And it would diminish the institution they lead. Fortunately, Republicans have other, saner options. ... McConnell made things harder for Republicans with his astounding behavior last spring in rejecting sight unseen President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee. Democrats have every right to still be seething. Trump didn't make it easy either. Gorsuch is plenty qualified, but his extreme conservatism is hardly something to smooth Democrats' ruffled feathers, not when Obama named such a moderate when he was in Trump's shoes.
But that doesn't mean the Republicans can't win, if they try.
And if they lose? Then their only responsible course would be to inform the president he's going to have to make another choice.
The Senate's long tradition of giving the minority party some leverage to fend off the majority is critical to maintain, no matter who is in power."
EDITORIAL: Voters deserve more facts at confirmation hearings (Beaumont Enterprise [TX], 03/23/17)
"Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch gave senators specks of insight into his judicial philosophy this week, but he generally followed a script that has become familiar: Reveal as little as possible, be vague instead of specific, and be quick to note that the question being asked could come up in a future court case.
Senators, and by extension the people who voted them into office, deserve better. They deserve straight answers to straight questions. Nominees like Gorsuch could provide them without compromising their integrity.
The whole purpose of the hearings is to find out what the nominee thinks about key issues."
[Editorial] Neil Gorsuch Faces the Senate (New York Times, 03/21/17)
"Judge Gorsuch became President Trump’s nominee only after Senate Republicans’ outrageous and unprecedented blockade of Merrick Garland .... there’s little doubt that he would be among the most conservative justices in the court’s modern history, with negative consequences for workers’ rights, women’s reproductive freedom, politics uncorrupted by vast sums of dark money, the separation of church and state, the health of the environment and the protection of the most vulnerable members of society."
[Editorial] 9 questions for Neil Gorsuch: Our view (USA Today, 03/19/17)
"There’s nothing to stop a judge from talking about his previous cases, his legal thinking or past Supreme Court rulings. In that spirit, here are some questions that the senators ought to ask and that Gorsuch ought to answer: ... This just scratches the surface of questions senators should ask Gorsuch, who, at 49, could influence the nation’s laws for more than three decades. Like all nominees, the judge deserves a fair hearing to determine whether he falls within the broad judicial mainstream and has a healthy respect for precedent. That standard will be impossible to assess if the witness ducks or parries every question he is asked."