Dennis J. Hutchinson on the Dangers of "Crying Wolf" over Neil Gorsuch

Crying wolf over Neil Gorsuch

Two principal arguments have emerged for opposing the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. First, because Senate Republicans refused to provide a hearing to Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's nominee, Democrats should use whatever mechanism necessary to prevent a hearing for Gorsuch. The second argument is that Gorsuch is a judicial soul mate of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, whose seat he would assume, and thus is not in the "mainstream" of American legal thought.

I have known Neil Gorsuch for almost 25 years, although we are not close. Politically, I am a lifelong registered Democrat and have been for almost 50 years.

The first opposition argument amounts to "two wrongs make a right." That is simply a continuation of the shameless schoolyard level of debate that deeply marred the presidential campaign. Tit for tat may be politically tempting, but as a principle of evaluating judicial nominees, it goes nowhere, except as an excuse for all sides to ignore principle altogether.

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