“We’ve got another Scalia,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein, from California, the ranking Democrat on the committee. “Right down the line. Everything — everything,” she said of Gorsuch’s conservative rulings. “I’m surprised that it’s so comprehensive.”
Donald Trump pledged to nominate Supreme Court justices with views similar to those of the late Antonin Scalia, who voted to relax limits on corporate and union campaign spending; overturn a key section of the Voting Rights Act, which he called a “perpetuation of racial entitlement,” and find for the first time that the Second Amendment protected an individual’s right to bear arms, not those of a “well-regulated militia.”
Western Journalism As a judge, Gorsuch has built a staunchly conservative voting record, like Scalia, on the bench. Also like Scalia, he has claimed that he only interprets the Constitution the way the framers intended.
A slew of rulings from newly appointed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has Democratic senators griping about his conservative tendencies.
Three Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee lamented to Politico that the junior justice’s first months on the bench have bolstered the Court’s conservative majority. “We’ve got another Scalia,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CN., argued Gorsuch’s rulings and demeanor show that his behavior during his confirmation hearings was an act.
“In a way, I’m surprised that he hasn’t demonstrated more independence,” he said. “I am surprised because in his demeanor and his tone he really made a huge effort to show his openness — which some of us thought might be more an act than it was a real persona.” “So far, I have to say, I’m disappointed,” Blumenthal said.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, told Politico that the justice has already proved himself to be a “tool” of the special interests groups. “It sure looks like I was right,” Whitehouse said. “It’s too early to draw any final conclusions, but the early signals are ominous about him being the tool of the creepy billionaire coalition.”
Some Democrats had believed Gorsuch’s staunch support for religious freedom might have given him pause about President Donald Trump’s travel ban executive order. Gorsuch, though, joined Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, in arguing that the Court’s ruling Monday that parts of Trump’s travel ban could go into effect did not go far enough.
Newsbusters Opponents say the ban is unlawful, based on visitors’ Muslim religion.
Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, said the government has shown it is likely to succeed on the merits of the case, and that it will suffer irreparable harm with any interference. Thomas said the government’s interest in preserving national security outweighs any hardship to people denied entry into the country.
Moreover, the only dissenters from the opinion (Justices Gorsuch, Alito, and Thomas) wanted the injunctions vacated in their entirety. They are correct that the court’s ruling will invite further litigation as litigants test the boundaries of the “bona fide relationships,” but the difference between the dissenters and the six remaining justices was only over the proper extent of Trump’s legal victory. For now, the constitutional and statutory primacy of the executive and legislative branches over national security and immigration has been restored.
The judges in the courts below have been celebrated as heroic resistance figures. Yet now even the Supreme Court’s most liberal justices have rejected the lower courts’ overreach.
Justice Thomas made sure to note that fact at the end of his opinion. Commenting on lower court rulings earlier this year which ultimately brought the matter to the nation’s highest court, Thomas also provided his observation on the ruling’s true scope: … this Court has now — unanimously — found (those rulings) sufficiently questionable to be stayed as to the vast majority of the people potentially affected.
Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans expressed a starkly different assessment on Gorsuch’s performance thus far. “He’s fantastic. He’s awesome. I’m a huge fan,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT, said. “It’s going as I expected and my expectations were high, and I’ve not been disappointed in the least.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, said that “I think he is performing as a principled constitutionalist, which is exactly what we hoped for and expected.”
Meanwhile. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-NC said Gorsuch’s early decisions on the bench were “stretching the thinking of the justices.” “He’s going to go down in history as one of the great ones,” Tillis said.