Last year, in an unprecedented act of obstruction, Senate Republicans refused to consider President Obama’s nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
Last night, in an embarrassing prime-time spectacle, Donald Trump announced his nominee for that seat.
Judge Neil Gorsuch has a history of rulings far outside the mainstream. When the 10th Circuit Court ruled on the Hobby Lobby case, Gorsuch’s concurring opinion went even further than the decision itself, insisting that*all* employers should have the right to refuse to cover contraception in their health plans, and that the “opt out” offered by the Obama administration was unacceptable. There’s nothing reassuring in his record on reproductive health.
During his campaign, Donald Trump explicitly promised to appoint justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade “automatically” and there’s every reason to believe Neil Gorsuch would vote to do exactly that. His extreme views make him a danger to the rights and freedoms of every woman in America.
And at age 49, he could spend the next 30-40 years pulling the court—and the country—to the right.
It should never have come to this. President Obama had a constitutional right to choose Justice Scalia’s replacement. Senate Republicans utterly refused to acknowledge that right and engaged in a calculated campaign of obstructionism. It was outrageous, disingenuous, nakedly partisan…and it worked. The GOP paid no political price for their behavior and, in fact, is likely to come out way ahead. They’re probably going to get to put a far-right ideologue in a stolen Supreme Court seat.
A great many conservative voters say they voted for Donald Trump despite their (many, serious) reservations about his temperament, his judgment, and his fitness because of the importance of the Supreme Court. Judge Neil Gorsuch is the price social conservatives demanded for their votes, and now Donald Trump has paid it. If he’s confirmed, it seems likely women and families will be paying for years to come.