My first experience with Senate confirmation hearings for a Supreme Court justice nominee was in 1991 at the hearings for Clarence Thomas.
I came to Washington with several hundred black pastors from around the country to support Justice Thomas. The hearings were a national embarrassment. The main focus turned out to be about neither the Constitution nor about Thomas’ jurisprudence.
It was about Democratic senators descending to the gutter and dredging up the most disgusting garbage they could conjure to destroy the man’s character because his jurisprudence was not aligned with their left-wing agenda.
Fortunately, Thomas survived. But the wounds caused to him and the nation by that pathetic display remain.
Now another outstanding conservative judge, Neil Gorsuch, stands for confirmation and Democrats again grasp at straws to besmirch the character of this man and avoid, at all costs, serious discussion about the Constitution and the judicial philosophy and integrity of the nominee.
What we hear is that he is “anti-choice, anti-environment, pro-corporate,” from Senator Leahy. And, from Senator Schumer, that he “harbors a right-wing, pro-corporate, special interest agenda,” siding “with the powerful few over everyday Americans just trying to get a fair shake.”
Along the same lines is a 70-page harangue from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund rationalizing their opposition to Judge Gorsuch.
According to the NAACP, Gorsuch “has regularly favored the interests of the privileged and powerful … at the expense of equality and inclusion.”
What bothers those on the left so deeply is they do not perceive that Judge Gorsuch favors those whom they want him to favor. In their view, he favors the rich rather than the poor. Business rather than workers. The majority rather than minorities.
It does not seem to dawn on liberals that Judge Gorsuch favors no one except the American citizenry, and that his singular aspiration is that we live in a nation with fair and objective law carried out by fair and objective judges. Perhaps even more outrageous to liberals is the possibility that Judge Gorsuch may see the law ultimately rooted in eternal and unchanging truths, not made up by a politician or jurist.
We need not look any further than the judicial oath that every Supreme Court justice takes, pledging to “administer justice without respect to persons and do equal right to the poor and to the rich…”
In Judge Gorsuch’s own words: “Judges should be in the business of declaring what the law is using traditional tools of interpretation, rather than pronouncing the law as they wish it might be in light of their own political views.”
The source of the judicial oath taken by Supreme Court justices is the Judiciary Act of 1789, which established the federal judiciary. It was passed in the first session of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President George Washington.
And where did the drafters of the Judiciary Act get these standards for behavior for judges — that they should favor no one?
It is reasonable that the source is the Bible, which proclaims these same standards.
The Book of Exodus says, regarding judges, “Do not follow the majority for evil. … Do not glorify a destitute person in his grievance.” And, in Deuteronomy, “You shall not pervert judgment, you shall not respect persons, and not take a bribe.”
What really bothers liberals is that the original text of our Constitution is rooted in an even higher source — the Judge of our judges.
At the conclusion of the Declaration of Independence, the founders appealed “to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions.”
Judge Neil Gorsuch will extract our law from the whims of politicians. His appointment to the Supreme Court is an important step to “make America great again.”