Judge Gorsuch, you have said with great forcefulness how important it is to respect not only the Constitution, but to respect precedent. Article II, Section 2 of our Constitution, as you well know, establishes the process by which the Senate must advise and consent on nominees to our Supreme Court. Thirteen months ago, the sitting President of the United States, Barack Obama, with a year left in his term, nominated the highly qualified and widely respected Judge Merrick Garland to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. But with great malice and forethought, the majority leader of the United States Senate defiantly refused to hold hearings about this nomination, refused even to speak with Judge Garland, and refused to allow his nomination to be considered.
Judge Gorsuch, not all important precedents are established by the courts. The Senate Republicans’ refusal to consider Merrick Garland threatens to establish the precedent that an opposition political party in the United State Senate can defy their constitutional obligation to advise and consent, that an opposition political party can deny the President of the United States his or her right to have a nomination considered by the Senate without even a hearing, in effect telling the President of the United States that he or she can go stuff a nominee without a vote, for no reason other than the nominee is of the opposing political party.
Judge Gorsuch, yesterday, you angrily said that if President Trump had asked you whether you would vote to overturn Roe versus Wade, that you would have stood up and walked out. How is it that you did not have the same reaction to being nominated to fill a Supreme Court seat that has remained vacant for over a year because of an even more egregious act of political malice, that if allowed to stand, will set one of the most dangerous precedents ever established in our Republic? As a man of integrity and principle, why are you not demanding that President Trump honor the Constitution by renominating Merrick Garland?
Senate Democrats, please consider asking this. Over and over and over. Let’s see if Judge Gorsuch really has the integrity to consider whether his seat on the Supreme Court, if confirmed, will forever be tainted with the stench of illegitimacy and political malice. And at the very least, let’s put his answer to this question in the Federal Register, guaranteeing that the stench will stick with him forever if he is confirmed.
Update: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) was on fire in his recent testimony in the Senate Judiciary hearings, highlighting the litany of extremely partisan 5-4 pro-corporate decisions of the Roberts court, including touching indirectly on the very question put forth in this diary. I would strongly commend RI-Sen: Watch Neil Gorsuch Walk Into Sheldon Whitehouse's (D) Trap During Confirmation Hearing, also now on the Rec List. The video is a must-watch.