In typical reality show fashion, Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals to fill the open seat on the Supreme Court made vacant by the death of Antonin Scalia last year. According to Trump, this nomination is the fulfillment of his campaign promise to nominate someone who is “the very best judge in the country;” and who “respects our laws, and is a representative of our Constitution.”
In the aftermath of the prime-time announcement, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and a host of Republicans praised the nomination as they ordained Gorsuch as the second coming of Scalia. He also received praise from many on the left, such as: Denver Post Editorial Board, a former law clerk to Sonia Sotomayor, a Solicitor General under Obama, and his liberal colleagues at the University of Colorado where he is an adjunct professor.
While the justice from Colorado may turn out to be everything he is being touted as, I’m concerned that he is actually another David Souter, Anthony Kennedy, or John Roberts. There are simply too many grey areas in Gorsuch’s past on issues such as: abortion, the Second Amendment, the LGBT agenda, and religious liberty:
- Abortion: Gorsuch has no paper trail. Will he go with stare decisis when life issues–specifically Roe v. Wade–come to the court?
- Same-sex marriage and other LGBT agenda issues: Will he defend religious liberty for Christian business owners and churches? He has some history defending Freedom of Religion against Obamacare, but none with cases like those involving Christian bakers and florists who have been driven out of business or where churches have been forced to comply with transgender bathroom laws.
- Gorsuch is being praised as a strict constructionist with his interpretation of the Constitution. Justice Kennedy also claimed to be a strict constructionist, and he gave us same-sex marriage. Gorsuch worked for Kennedy and he considers the so-called centrist Justice a major influence in his understanding of the law.
- Second Amendment: Gorsuch was involved in the US v. Rodriquez case where he joined in an opinion stating that New Mexico police had the right to forcibly disarm armed citizens without cause; essentially empowering them to act first, and ask questions later.
The fact that these concerns are out there proves that the constitutional design of the Supreme Court as envisioned by the Founding Fathers no longer exists. The court was never intended to be the final authority–that right belongs to the people via our elected representatives in the House. Frankly, I don’t think we’ll see the three branches of government restored to their proper roles without an Article V Convention of States.
However, dealing with today’s reality, we need to make sure that these questions are fully answered. Even if Gorsuch is confirmed and judges as Antonin Scalia did, the current court remains under the control of Anthony Kennedy, with a 5-4 majority against the Constitution. For this reason, we also need to let Trump and the Republicans know that this pick is just the beginning. Future Supreme Court openings need to be filled with strict constructionist firmly committed to the original intent of the Constitution.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative, your source for opinion that’s politically incorrect and always “right.” His articles can also be found on RedState.com.
His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.