This is a stolen seat. It was despicable what McConnell and the Republicans did to President Obama. That said, the Democrats have to let them have this justice, and fast. This isn’t about the Republicans, this isn’t about the Democrats, and this isn’t about Trump. This is about Kennedy. Once again, Justice Anthony Kennedy is the one to watch.
Kennedy is the ever important swing vote on the Court. Appointed by a Republican (Reagan in an election year but don’t get me started) but he has been the author of some key decisions on civil rights, especially the ones for gay rights. If you’re not sure what I mean, follow these links to the cases for Lawrence, Windsor, and Obergefell. Gay rights have developed at an astronomical pace and Kennedy has had a lot to do with it. One only need realize that 150 years after emancipation, African Americans are still being blocked their right to vote. It has taken gay rights fourteen years to go from gay sex being illegal, to gay marriage not only being legal, but also favored by the majority of Americans. Thank you, Anthony Kennedy.
The views of Judge Gorsuch are extreme, but compared to Scalia, this pick is a pretty even swap. What makes him really scary though is that he clerked for Justice Kennedy. Make no mistake, this selection is a hint to Kennedy that by choosing someone he trusts, he should feel comfortable about retiring and surrendering his seat to Trump. We lose the swing vote, and that’s when everything gets scary. That’s the one that needs the fight.
Trump is weak. He lacks personal confidence. Just watch the clip of him walking up to the mic last night. That body language does not say “I’m in control.” He read the prompter, and still got some things wrong. The guy is out of his depth and he knows it. He has no intellectual curiosity. He doesn’t read. He’s lazy. He surrounds himself with people who are able to push their agenda in front of him and he’ll sign it because he trusts them. Watch the clip of him signing his executive orders. He’s never even read them. Trump could spend whatever time he has in office deferring all judgment to crazy people like Bannon, gutless people like Ryan, and intolerant people like Pence. If that turns out to be the reality, then the Democrats need to get this justice confirmed and quick. The longer they take, the closer we get to the next vacancy.
The Democrats should use the filibuster. They should have tough hearings, and they should probably spend some of their hearing time talking about Judge Garland. Judge Garland deserved a hearing, so let’s give him one now. That said, that should be the end of the fight. This is not a fight worth fighting aggressively. They need to earn themselves some public goodwill by acting like statesmen and some trust from Trump and a say in the next justice. Let Gorsuch be opposed, but not obstructed. We need this guy because the next one isn’t going to be pretty and the Democrats need to save their strength.
They need to keep fighting the cabinet. They have to block Trump loyalists who are loyal more than they are qualified. Invoking the 25th Amendment could be a real possibility and they are going to need people to vote for it.