Sen. Bill Nelson has now met with President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch. It’s time for Nelson to reject the Democratic Party’s political manipulations and support Gorsuch’s confirmation.
Floridians are tired of the partisan bickering and gridlock in Washington. And in the case of Gorsuch, it is readily apparent that those pushing for rejection are grasping at straws.
As longtime Progressive Democratic lawyer David Frederick wrote for the Washington Post, there is just “no principled reason” to vote against Gorsuch. Frederick said he has no doubt that he will disagree with some decisions Gorsuch makes as a Supreme Court Justice, but that is not the basis upon which to oppose a nominee. He concluded saying, “[M]y hope is to have justices on the bench such as Gorsuch and Garland who approach cases with fairness and intellectual rigor, and who care about precedent and the limits of their roles as judges.”
These are the words of someone who served in the Clinton Justice Department and who serves on the board of the ultra-liberal American Constitution Society.
After Nelson’s meeting with Gorsuch, his spokesman wrote in an email, “The two discussed several topics and Nelson expressed his concerns about the suppression of voting rights and the amount of undisclosed, unlimited money in campaigns.” The statement is a bit ironic, since a considerable amount of money seems to be driving Gorsuch opposition. The same coordinated anti-Trump efforts seem to have just shifted to a new target to oppose the president, no matter the nominee’s actual record.
As reported by several news outlets, as soon as Gorsuch’s nomination was made public, there were protesters at the Supreme Court. Only these protesters were so driven by anti-Trump sentiment, they had signs printed with “Stop” on the top and a blank space where they could write the name of whomever the president nominated.
Those who oppose Gorsuch oppose him for reasons beyond his record. Some are desperately trying to paint him as outside the mainstream, but they look foolish. The left-leaning American Bar Association just recently gave Gorsuch its highest rating: unanimous well qualified.
In a recent letter, more than 50 law school classmates spanning the political spectrum expressed their support for Judge Gorsuch. They wrote:
We are Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and independents; progressives, conservatives and moderates; religious and non-observant; married, single and divorced; men and women; straight and gay. … What unites us is that we attended law school with Judge Neil Gorsuch … and we unanimously believe Neil possesses the exemplary character, outstanding intellect, steady temperament, humility and open-mindedness to be an excellent addition to the United States Supreme Court.
In a similar letter, more than 150 of his Columbia classmates expressed their support. A diverse group ideologically, they stood “united in [their] belief that [Gorsuch] would serve our country with honor and distinction on the Supreme Court.”
All these bi-partisan efforts to support Judge Gorsuch square neatly with the overwhelming bi-partisan support he received when he was nominated for the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals — the second highest court in the land.
He was unanimously confirmed by a voice vote in 2006, and Floridians would be surprised to see some of the Democrats who supported him. Among them, then-senators Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry, and current senators Chuck Schumer, Ron Wyden, Dianne Feinstein, Patrick Leahy, Patty Murray, Dick Durbin, Jack Reed, Tom Carper, Debbie Stabenow, Maria Cantwell, Bob Menendez and, believe it or not, our very own Bill Nelson.
Given the overwhelming weight of the evidence, there is just no principled reason for Nelson to oppose Gorsuch. Let us pray he does the right thing and does not fall prey to the radical special interest groups pressuring him to abandon reason (and his constituents) for the sake of party loyalty.