Gorsuch, perfect fit for Supreme Court, wins over political pettiness

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats in the U.S. Senate declared the equivalent of political war on the nomination of federal Judge Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court. They mounted a filibuster to block a vote on Gorsuch.

Many of these same senators were part of Gorsuch’s unanimous selection a decade ago to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

Although Gorsuch’s rulings show conservative leanings, only three of his cases even reached the level of Supreme Court consideration and none were overturned. Yet Schumer, a New York Democrat, suggested the best option for President Donald Trump was to drop Gorsuch and try another nominee.

That would have been ridiculous. Gorsuch clearly was a qualified, apolitical candidate for the high court. The only acceptable alternative for Schumer and company would be an avowed liberal ready to legislate from the bench.

The country needs less, not more, of that.

It needs more of what Gorsuch, sworn in Monday to the Supreme Court following a 54-48 Senate approval vote, has promised. He has said that whenever his personal views of a case differ from what the Constitution leads him to rule, he sides with the Constitution. That devotion to the Constitution over legislating from the bench is precisely what should be the guiding force behind the rulings of all Supreme Court justices.

Under normal Senate rules, it would have taken 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, and Republicans backing Gorsuch may not have been able to muster that super-majority.

But under what ex-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid dubbed “the nuclear option” just a few years ago, a simple majority of 51 votes would stop a filibuster.

Reid originated the “nuclear option.” Republicans, correctly, did not hesitate to use the technique Schumer’s party pioneered.

They also don’t need to apologize for not entertaining President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, during the final year of his administration. Not approving Supreme Court nominees of lameduck presidents has been the norm for almost three decades.

Unfortunately, even Supreme Court nominees are political footballs these days.

Fortunately, a talented Supreme Court nominee in Justice Neil Gorsuch survived the political pettiness and will make a positive impact on the court for decades to come.