Neil Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings

Donald Trump is the rudest person ever. He's interrupted Neil Gorsuch's confirmation hearing to have Spicy give a press conference. CNN is out of service on my TV, Fox and MSNBC are airing the presser. Online is the only place for the hearing right now.

While I was driving, I heard him talk about civil litigants needing access to the courts. He talks a lot about himself and sports. He's not the most exciting personality.

I have no doubt he'll be confirmed, but I can think of a lot worse choices Trump could have made. I suspect Trump's aides went through their "opinions matching Scalia" file and he came up on top. [More...]

My view: Dems should save their fire for the next Supreme Court pick who may be closer to someone like William Pryor who is completely unacceptable.

The way to ensure we get no more Supreme Court Justices like Gorsuch or Alito or Clarence Thomas is to elect Democrats, not Republicans, and vote, whether you like the party candidate or not. ryor.

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    Al Franken (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 21, 2017 at 03:40:00 PM EST
    brought up the fact that Gorsuch sided with a trucking company that let their employee freeze to death. I'm not sure I would want to have that vote on my record if I was running for reelection.

    See the trucker is dead (none / 0) (#10)
    by me only on Tue Mar 21, 2017 at 06:59:32 PM EST
    Who knew?  You should tell him and his family.

    Was gonna let the guy (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 21, 2017 at 08:25:11 PM EST
    freeze to death. Left out a few words. However between that and his love of torture I would question his commitment to American values.

    The Supreme Court, (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by KeysDan on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 11:47:40 AM EST
    unanimously, found that Judge Gorsuch wrongly decided a disability case brought by parents of an autistic child seeking reimbursement for tuition.

    In Gorsuch's 2008 opinion regarding the Individuals with Disabilities Act, Gorsuch ruled that a school district complies with the law so long as they provide educational benefits that "must merely be more than de minimus" (i.e., so minor as to merit disregard).

     Chief Justice Roberts wrote for the Court:" when all is said and done, a student offered an educational program providing "merely more than de minimus" progress from year to year can hardly be said to have been offered an education at all.  For children with disabilities, receiving instruction that aims so low would be tantamount to "sitting idly....awaiting the time when the student is old enough to drop out."

    In response to Senator Durbin about his now-discredited decision, Gorsuch said he was bound by the Circuit precedent, which is incorrect.  

    Gorsuch seems to read laws very narrowly: autistic children, freezing drivers.

    a legal nihilist ? (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by linea on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 07:07:49 PM EST
    re: "Gorsuch seems to read laws very narrowly: autistic children, freezing drivers."

    i was told that scalia once asserted:

    "Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached"

    but it seems to be a loose paraphrase of his actual assertion in Herrera v. Collins:

    "There is no basis in text, tradition, or even in contemporary practice (if that were enough), for finding in the Constitution a right to demand judicial consideration of newly discovered evidence of innocence brought forward after conviction"

    which seems to be the opposite moral value of:

    Justice Blackmun in his dissent of Herrera v. Collins, 506 U.S. 390 (1993)

    Nothing could be more contrary to contemporary standards of decency, or more shocking to the conscience, than to execute a person who is actually innocent.

    Funny Article on Gorsuch (none / 0) (#1)
    by RickyJim on Tue Mar 21, 2017 at 01:59:04 PM EST
    Maybe there are some conservatives who will vote against him.  A sample:
    As Gorsuch's Senate confirmation hearings began on Monday, some hardline conservatives have raised concerns about his choice of church.
    "Be advised," blared a tweet from Bryan Fischer, a host on the American Family Radio Network. "Gorsuch attends a church that is rabidly pro-gay, pro-Muslim, pro-green, and anti-Trump."
    "Is Gorsuch a secret liberal?" asked an op-ed in The Hill, a Washington newspaper.
    Another columnist argued that if conservatives complained about Barack Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, shouldn't they also grumble about Gorsuch's?

    "rabidly pro-green" (none / 0) (#22)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 02:03:11 PM EST
    Reagan's environmental tsar, James Watts, deserved a bit more notice than he got for his position, which mirrored that of some evangelicals, that because true believers were all headed for a Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker mascara and jewel encrusted, post mortum  materialism, that they could plunder our planet at will.  He was more infamous for his view that you could be either, but not both, a liberal or an American.

    Local NPR radio is carrying the Gorsuch hearing. (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 21, 2017 at 02:54:40 PM EST

    Here's a good question for Judge Gorsuch: (none / 0) (#3)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 21, 2017 at 02:56:21 PM EST
    Why are you here?   There's only one honest answer, I shouldn't be.  (NYTimes editorial, March 21).

     The problem is how Gorsuch got to this point in the first place.  There is, apparently, no institutional penalty for sabotaging constitutional norms.

    It looks like Judge Gorsuch will be confirmed as the Trump Justice, barring some unexpected and damaging event. The hearings portray Judge Gorsuch as being smooth to the point of slickness. He is smart and well-coached.  No need to be concerned about previous Court decisions, he is very respectful of "precedents."  So much so that he respects the precedent of Bush v Gore, even when the Supreme Court stated that it should not be considered as a precedent.  Super-precendial.

    The hearings are, to be sure, interesting, if for no other reason than to observe the Senators in action, such as Lindsey Graham expressing sympathy that "Justice Alito" passed away last February.

    My question to Gorsuch would be focused on the stolen seat which he is eager  to fill. The Appointments Clause (Artice II, Section 2, Clause 2) The President shall have the Power to appoint, by and with the "advice and consent" of the US Senate.

     If the US Senate refuses to enter into the advice and consent process,  neither meet with, hold hearings, or vote on the nominee, has the Senate forfeited its advice and consent role, permitting the President to declare the appointment?  

     The Framers were concerned that Congress might seek to exercise appointment powers and fill offices with their supporters, and circumvent the Appointments Clause.  The discussion, no matter the answer, may keep the tarnished appointment of Gorsuch front and center.

    Gorsuch may be a legitimate nominee by a Republican president under normal circumstances, but the power grab by Republicans will shape the Supreme Court for decades.  Surely, Gorsuch should be made aware that he accepted a seat that belongs to Merrick Garland, unless Judge Garland had been voted down by the Senate.

    Re: civil litigants (none / 0) (#5)
    by vicndabx on Tue Mar 21, 2017 at 04:18:02 PM EST
    In that same vein, Judge Gorsuch has been highly critical of some who rely on the courts to protect equal rights. In a 2005 article published shortly before his nomination to the Tenth Circuit, Judge Gorsuch wrote that "American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom,"70 improperly using constitutional litigation to "effect[]their social agenda[] on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide to the use of vouchers for private-school education."71 Notably absent from his piece was any criticism of conservatives using the courts to attack, for example, diversity in education,72 the Voting Rights Act,73 gun regulations,74 and campaign finance laws


    During his tenure on the Tenth Circuit, Judge Gorsuch has often upheld the disposal of claims before plaintiffs can present their case to a jury. While there are some exceptions noted in the discussion that follows, Judge Gorsuch has typically held plaintiffs to strict pleading standards, erred on the side of granting or affirming summary judgment against plaintiffs in close cases, and adopted a robust view of qualified immunity that imposes a heavy burden on plaintiffs who allege violations of constitutional rights against police officers. Moreover, in several cases Judge Gorsuch has advocated a limited role for federal courts, departing from his colleagues to argue that courts should "abstain" for "prudential" reasons from deciding even meritorious claims.

    NAACP LDF Report

    Which is it?  Odd that he'd address this very issue in a manner seemingly contradictory to his prior opinions both legal and personal.

    ... or lack thereof, Senate Republicans saw fit for purely partisan purposes to leave this particular SCOTUS seat vacant for nearly an entire year. Senate Democrats by every right ought to return the favor, and see to it that the position further remains vacant for the next four years as well.

    Yes, and with (none / 0) (#7)
    by KeysDan on Tue Mar 21, 2017 at 06:11:09 PM EST
    "a big gray cloud" over the Trump Administration, according to Devin Nunez (R.CA), Chair of the House Intel Committee, a life time appointments can wait. Ted Cruz advocated for eight members just last year.

    Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren have expressed similar views.  Why try to save the filibuster for later; McConnell could change it  right after a Gorsuch confirmation.  Yes, the next nominee could be worse, someone like that brilliant legal mind, Judge Napolitano of FOX (so bad, he was suspended by Fox, but not so bad that Trump does not rely on him). However, Gorsuch looks good, sort of like Robert Young in Father Knows Best, but comes across with all the authenticity and charisma of Huckabee.


    Like I said before, ... (none / 0) (#14)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Mar 21, 2017 at 09:35:52 PM EST
    ... he's his mother's son. We don't need another John Roberts or Sammy Alito.

    Eagle's Nest.. (none / 0) (#35)
    by jondee on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 04:03:41 PM EST
    I'm struck for some reason by the name of Neil's billionaire friend Phillip Anschutz's ranch: the "Eagle's Nest". Of all the names to pick..

    Well, Eagle's Nest (none / 0) (#36)
    by KeysDan on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 04:27:10 PM EST
    is more politically correct than "Kehisteinhaus."

    The front door bell ring (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by jondee on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 04:44:49 PM EST
    is probably Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries.

    This is (none / 0) (#42)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 05:30:22 PM EST
    the real doorbell tune:  
    WARNING: Extremely NSFW

    WARNING: Extremely NSFW

    cee lo greene singing "F U"

    WARNING: Extremely NSFW

    WARNING: Extremely NSFW

    These days, that's what's playing on all Trump administration official doorbells.


    "Ride of the Valkyries" ... (none / 0) (#47)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Mar 23, 2017 at 08:03:28 PM EST
    ... is a German lullaby.

    The Repubs stated reason (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 03:20:15 PM EST
    was outlined by quoting Bi8den and others.

    Paybacks are hell.

    The nuclear is ready to be dropped.

    And if the Left wing of the Demos force it to be used on a very well qualified nominee there is no reason for it to not be used on a nominee that you really don't like.


    I'm surprised an old man of people (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by jondee on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 03:51:31 PM EST
    and friend of "the unwashed" and labor would be so motherhen-like about an obvious company man like Neil Gorsuch.

    He said sarcastically.

    But then, I forget his rock solid record in defense of social liberalism..


    C-SPAN radio (none / 0) (#8)
    by bordenl on Tue Mar 21, 2017 at 06:20:45 PM EST
    Understands what is important. Had no idea there was a presser this afternoon.

    Cruz, Lee, and Sasse were so friendly that there is no doubt Gorsuch will go through. At least until we got to Blumenthal the Democrats' questions were all very good. Feinstein asked him about writing "Yes" in the margin of a document where it was stated that "enhanced interrogation" was effective, and he said he didn't recall. This weasel answer was the worst thing that took place today. I don't know if you can hang a filibuster on it. As of 2 CDT I was going to write that this hearing was profoundly depressing because Alito had so clearly done better.

    So what if he's fillibustered? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Mar 21, 2017 at 08:23:54 PM EST
    It will force McConnell to nuke the filibuster and it will be gone for good. Gorsuch surprisingly got damaged by the hearings. The GOP let the hearings on Russia overshadow Gorsuch's "good day" which was yesterday.

    Frankly though if the guy had any integrity he should decline the nomination by Trump. Can you imagine the eternal embarrassment of being put on the supreme court by a Putin stooge?


    Trucker case (none / 0) (#9)
    by bordenl on Tue Mar 21, 2017 at 06:23:43 PM EST
    Although it has been brought up repeatedly including by Hirono just now, I didn't see it on NBC News. (That's how my husband gets news for the most part.)

    Is it supposed to make me feel (none / 0) (#13)
    by jondee on Tue Mar 21, 2017 at 09:31:03 PM EST
    better about Neil that every time I see him on camera, there just happens to be a very attractive young black woman sitting just behind his left shoulder?

    The Clarence Thomas conservative ruse, once removed?

    He will be confirmed easily (none / 0) (#15)
    by Green26 on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 12:59:55 AM EST
    is my view. Very qualified. Very smart. Yes, conservative. Apparently a nice guy. Did well in the questioning today.

    Yes (5.00 / 7) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 05:39:37 AM EST
    conservatives have shown the entire country that stealing is a worthwhile proposition as long as you get what you want in the end.

    I have to wonder about someone who is forever going to be known as the guy put on the court by a Putin stooge.


    Yeah, its important that as your rights... (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by desertswine on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 11:16:18 AM EST
    are being eroded, that it be done by a "nice" guy with a swell smile and a wonderful family.

    Not for nothing is NPR = Nice Polite Republicans (none / 0) (#19)
    by leap on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 11:47:44 AM EST
    NPR weighs in with their trenchant analysis:

    "Gorsuch is a white man, but he would add geographic and a certain degree of religious diversity to the court..."

    The full twaddle.

    And the twit who wrote it.

    ... to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee as though they're all students prepping for the LSAT. Personally, I find that to be unnecessarily patronizing and borderline insulting on his part, not unlike believing that you have to explain the plot of "The Godfather" to Francis Ford Coppola and Al Pacino.

    He taught against women (none / 0) (#21)
    by Towanda on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 01:48:27 PM EST
    Accordinf to a student in Gorsuch's U of Colorado,law school class, he taught that women "manipulate" maternity leave.

    So much for the nice family man.  He's only nice to his own family.

    Off topic but developing news (none / 0) (#23)
    by Green26 on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 02:05:21 PM EST
    Subject is incidental surveillance of the Trump team. Perhaps a new open thread could be started.

    I won't quote, as I am trying to avoid a discussion here.


    No, not developing. Same old same old (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 02:24:00 PM EST
    Unless you are attempting say that the Trump transition team was in constant contact with foreign elements that were being actively surveilled.

    This is Nunes really phucking up attempting to help Trump hold his storyline lie. From the article:

    Nunes described the surveillance as most likely being "incidental collection." This can occur when a person inside the United States communicates with a foreign target of U.S. surveillance. In such cases, the identities of U.S. citizens are supposed to be kept secret -- but can be "unmasked" by intelligence officials under certain circumstances.

    Incidental collection means they (the Trumpers) were contacting people our intelligence community had under surveillance, like Russian agents.

    And guess who is responsible for trying to unmask Americans here? Nunes


    To me it sounded (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 02:47:21 PM EST
    like another shoe is getting ready to drop and he was attempting to get out in front of it. Yes, there is nothing new about this story because we've known for quite a while that the NSA was doing surveillance on foreign agents. To me this says the Trump team knows they are caught talking to the Russians and NSA has it on tape.

    Trump is under criminal investigation so this should surprise no one.


    If the President is to have surveillance (none / 0) (#30)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 03:23:35 PM EST
    then it should yield something.

    If you attack a king you must kill the king.

    Time for full disclosure. No more leaks.

    Are you ready for that???


    You are so clueless (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 11:48:48 PM EST
    What king? We are a democracy with checks and balances. Incidental collections occurred before I was born, and continue. It is part of intel collection. And let me understand you. You do not believe we should be collecting on Russian entities in the U.S.?

    I'm ready for more leaks (none / 0) (#31)
    by jondee on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 03:40:41 PM EST
    The torrents of spring, as Hemingway said.

    Are you ready for that????


    Yes, I am quite (none / 0) (#33)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 03:53:25 PM EST
    ready for quite a few Republicans to go down for colluding with a foreign agent. I am interested in seeing how many and how far out this reaches.

    Devin Nunes is even (none / 0) (#29)
    by KeysDan on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 03:21:45 PM EST
    dumber than a rock-- running off to the White House to tell the potential targets of his tip,directly, that a US counterintel investigation resulted in legal, but "incidental", collections of conversations, including Trump's (or maybe Trump's, depending on which breathless utterance).  The rush to tell was so urgent that Nunes did not take time to inform the Democrats on the House Intel Committee, of which he is Chairman.  Nunes, also, may have thought this would be great news for Trump, after Comey's devastating testimony given under oath.  Some "terrific" for the base to eat up.

    Or, Devin Nunes is somewhat smarter than a rock---since he, himself, was a member of Trump's transition team, he is in panic, so much so that he became a leaker of classified information.  Was Nunes' a part of the incidental collection?

    In either case, Nunes is totally compromised as the Chair of a committee investigating Trump and his cohorts.  We need a special prosecutor, immediately.


    I think he may have broken the law also (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 04:28:52 PM EST
    Announcing this to the press as he has. If the collections are classified information I would think an incidental collection occurring during a legal classified collection means the occurance of incidental collection is also classified.

    Nunes has confirmed classified information to all of us. I understand what he is attempting to do, hoping half this country goes nuts discovering Obama was spying on all of them. Nunes has broken the law trying to create masking havoc.


    Maybe Nunes will try to use (none / 0) (#41)
    by jondee on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 04:56:13 PM EST
    the fact that reich wing talk radio has been talking about it weeks as a basis for claiming the information was already "public knowledge"

    Let's not forget this is the nitwit who thinks the Audubon Society studies Das Kapital.


    ... somehow didn't see fit to either discuss this "revelation" during Monday's Intelligence Committee public hearing, or disclose the existence of these "findings" to ranking member Adam Schiff and other members of the committee, before running this afternoon first to Trump and then the media.

    Congressman Schiff has since issued a public statement of his own on the matter:

    "This afternoon, Chairman David Nunes announced he had some form of intercepts revealing that lawfully gathered intelligence on foreign officials included information on U.S. Persons, including those associated with President Trump or the President himself. If accurate, this information should have been shared with members of the committee, but it has not been. Indeed, it appears that committee members only learned about this when the Chairman discussed the matter this afternoon with the press. The Chairman also shared this information with the White House before providing it to the committee, another profound irregularity, given that the matter is currently under investigation. I have expressed my grave concerns with the Chairman that a credible investigation cannot be conducted this way." (Emphasis is mine.)

    This is EXACTLY why decent and fair-minded people have repeatedly pressed the need for an independent commission to investigate the allegations of ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government and intelligence services. At this point, it should be painfully evident to everyone, save for the most rabid of GOP partisans, that Republicans in Congress simply cannot be trusted to place country before party.



    Nunes (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 02:44:35 PM EST
    could be prosecuted for this according to security experts.

    Yes (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 04:29:43 PM EST
    Everyone I know with a security clearance would already be arrested for doing this.

    You know this makes (none / 0) (#43)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 05:44:36 PM EST
    me laugh more and more at conservatives and their email trolling. Apparently retroactively classified information is the end of the world but spilling secrets on TV about criminal investigations into foreign agents is just all right.

    There's also a story that Flynn was involved in the email thing paying off someone to wrongly mark things classified in Hillary's email account. It involves some retired FBI agent and someone else. It will be interesting if that story that has been rolling around on twitter etc. comes to fruition.


    I still can't wrap my mind around (none / 0) (#28)
    by jondee on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 03:20:46 PM EST
    the fact that someone who called Nancy Pelosi a commie, and who called the environmental lobby Marxists and Maoists, is a United States congressman..

    Nunes is the kind of toadying company man who used to get 'disppeared' sometimes in the early days of the labor movement..

    What was the thread topic again?


    They just (none / 0) (#34)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Mar 22, 2017 at 03:57:23 PM EST
    scream and name call. It doesn't matter whether it's actually applicable which it's not. Too many people do not realize that Russia is not a communist country anymore. It's an authoritarian conservative country.

    Another reminder not to jump to (none / 0) (#46)
    by Peter G on Thu Mar 23, 2017 at 07:54:14 PM EST
    conclusions. Mentally-impaired 18-year-old Jewish Israeli-American boy arrested in Israel for the rash of telephoned bomb threats a few weeks ago to Jewish Community Centers.

    True, and the (none / 0) (#48)
    by KeysDan on Fri Mar 24, 2017 at 10:56:40 AM EST
    reminder applies, too, to the the reporting.  Israel police said the home-schooled, troubled teenager is believed responsible for most of the threats, though the precise number is not immediately clear.  Another arrest was made by Juan Thompson of St. Louis.