Column: Trumps Supreme Court nominee ain't half bad
The advent of Trump’s presidency brought radical changes to the country, even on its first week. With a gap needing to be filled in the Supreme Court, all eyes are on the nominee, Neil Gorsuch.
Upon gaining approval from the U.S. Senate, Gorsuch’s appointment will shift the Supreme Court’s views back to the conservative side after a full year of deadlock since the death of former Justice Antonin Scalia. It’s still unclear whether the Senate will confirm Gorsuch, but if it does, things won’t look so different compared to when Scalia was in the Court.
Gorsuch and Scalia are very similar. Gorsuch has been reported to look up to Scalia and would praise Scalia’s past decisions. He shared his view on interpreting the law through the “originalist” approach, which is a type of interpretation that reads the law word for word, unless terms are specified otherwise.
Out of all the radical changes going on, Gorsuch’s nomination is probably not up there. To be frank, most of Gorsuch’s ideas aren’t radical at all. He believes in small intervention regarding legislation.
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In a democracy, people are intended to determine legislation. If the courts are constantly interfering with the process, then law-making can’t be called democratic. These judges aren’t elected into office, therefore the people usually won’t have a say in their decisions because they supposed to be independent of public opinion.
That isn’t to say that he doesn’t have opinions conflicting with other sentiments out there.
During his career as a judge, he has favored companies over people. Being one of the highest authorities in the land regarding cases, it is hard to trust a pro-business man to protect the people. I do have to give him the benefit of the doubt though, because as a judge in the 10th circuit, which is in Colorado, he did not have a sample size large enough to compare to a judge in the New York City area.
Another area of concern is the LGBT community. After the great leaps and bounds the country made in 2015 with the legalization of gay marriage across the United States, the addition of Gorsuch could prove to be an opponent of progress.
According to a National Review op-ed, Gorsuch stated that “American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom, relying on judges and lawyers rather than elected leaders and the ballot box, as the primary means of affecting social agenda ...”
In addition, the issue of requiring transgendered students to use their preferred bathroom is right around the corner and Neil Gorsuch might be against the idea. Gorsuch’s track records show that he doesn’t support them, having denied the claims of a transgender prisoner who wasn’t given their treatment of estrogen and was forced to stay in an all-male ward.
For progressive Americans, Gorsuch is not the candidate they were looking for, and I’m sure opposing Democrats will do whatever is in their power to disapprove Gorsuch.
After the death of Scalia, the Republican senators tirelessly prevented former President Barack Obama from selecting his replacement for Scalia.
Since the position of Supreme Court Justice is a lifelong job, it’s important that the right person be chosen for the job. While it may seem that the people might not have much say in this, nothing could be further from the truth. While people share their opinions with Trump, I do agree with his statement during his inauguration where he claimed that the power is being transferred back to the people.
The ones who get the final say in Gorsuch’s approval will be the U.S. Senate and, in turn, you. Because they represent you. Don’t hesitate to call your senators to voice your dissatisfaction, or support, for Gorsuch. We are fortunate to live in a democratic society where we can have enough confidence in our representatives to do what we elected them to do.
Follow Andrew Alamban on Twitter.