Senator Dick Dever: Gorsuch a Solid Pick for High Court


U.S. President Donald Trump looks on as Neil Gorsuch (L) approaches the podium after being nominated to be an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., January 31, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

The death of Antonin Scalia deprived America of one of the most gifted conservative legal jurists our nation has ever seen. His decades on the court gave us one strong decision after another affirming a vision of the Constitution as our Founding Fathers intended. His death has left a void on the court, but I am confident that Neil Gorsuch is the right person to fill it.

President Trump made an excellent choice when he nominated Judge Gorsuch to fill the seat left empty by Scalia’s death. I know that some conservatives were worried about whom the president may pick, but it is now clear that any such concerns were groundless. Judge Gorsuch is an able successor to fill Scalia’s seat.

According to National Journal, Gorsuch “is known as a consistent conservative much like the late Antonin Scalia in his embrace of originalism in interpreting statutes and the Constitution.” Many other commentators have echoed this sentiment. The view of those who have been following Gorsuch’s career is that he will adhere rigorously to the text of the Constitution in his rulings.

This is exactly the type of justice we need on the high court. There have been other eras where a majority of the Supreme Court justices have departed from the original meaning of the Constitution. They embraced the notion of a “living Constitution,” which in practice meant a Constitution that said whatever the justice desired.

[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]Not only is Judge Gorsuch a solid pick to keep the court on the right track, he has an impeccable background for a Supreme Court justice.[/mks_pullquote]

That is no way to interpret the law. Justice Scalia helped return the Supreme Court to an interpretation that adheres closely to the words written by the Founders. It would have been devastating to our nation to reverse course with a nominee that did not share this view. Thankfully, President Trump selected someone who has the same originalist beliefs as did Antonin Scalia.

Not only is Judge Gorsuch a solid pick to keep the court on the right track, he has an impeccable background for a Supreme Court justice. He has a distinguished history on the U.S. Court of Appeals. He clerked for two Supreme Court justices. He attended one of the top law schools in the nation. There should be no doubts about his qualifications to serve.

He has garnered praise across the political spectrum for his impeccable credentials and solid legal opinions. Unfortunately, there are some senators who are so consumed by partisan politics that they will not give him fair consideration. Even before meeting with him, they have declared their opposition to his nomination.

That’s a sad state of affairs. In an ideal world, Judge Gorsuch would be confirmed without a single dissenting vote in the Senate. That is what happened when he was confirmed to his federal appeals court seat in 2006. Nothing in his work over the past decade can justify the opposition that he now faces from some senators.

Even though I am disappointed that there are a handful of senators who do not want to give Judge Gorsuch his due, I am confident that the majority will do the right thing. They will consider his stellar resume and his solid judicial philosophy. When they do that, they will have no other option but to vote in favor of Judge Gorsuch to sit on the Supreme Court.

The day that Judge Gorsuch takes the ninth seat on the highest court in our land will be a good day for America. We will have a Supreme Court justice who will faithfully interpret the Constitution for decades to come. The Senate should act without delay to confirm one of the finest jurists to be nominated to the Supreme Court in my lifetime.