President Trump nominated federal judge Neil Gorsuch to become the next Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. You have to to hand it to Trump; this was a masterful move by him. Consider:
- Fulfilled campaign promise? Check.
- Same basic legal philosophy as Scalia? Check.
- Approved by the Religious Right? Check.
- Highly qualified? Check.
- Recently unanimously confirmed by both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate when nominated for his seat on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals? Check.
- Free of baggage? Check. (I think.)
Although some or many Democrats will attempt to paint Gorsuch as “outside of the mainstream” or “not a consensus choice,” I predict such objections will fall flat with many voters. If they want to filibuster a vote on Gorsuch’s appointment to the Supreme Court, probably their best option would be full transparency:
“We agree with President Trump. Judge Gorsuch does have an extremely impressive CV / resume. Under normal circumstances, we would allow a vote on his nomination and he would probably get confirmed. But these are not normal circumstances. Our opposition to his placement on the court is nothing personal. This is payback time for how the Republicans in the Senate treated Obama’s nominee for the same seat.”
ETA: In order to avoid any misunderstandings, I want to emphasize that I am not saying that I endorse Gorsuch. My goal here is not to provide an overall favorable picture of Gorsuch. Rather, my point was to explain how, for someone who share’s Trump’s and the Republican Party’s goals, Trump’s nomination was masterful.