EDITORIAL: Gorsuch nomination is encouraging for those who feared the worst


editorial

President Donald Trump annonces Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil M. Gorsuch in the East Room of the of White House in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)


Last week, President Donald Trump answered one of the largest questions he faced coming into his presidency: Who will he appoint to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia?

We believe President Trump's answer, 10th Circuit Appellate Court Judge Neil Gorsuch of Colorado, is a victory for bipartisanship and stability on our nation's highest court. His nomination is the best decision Trump has made this far in his presidency. 

If approved, the conservative Gorsuch, 49, will not disrupt the balance of the court. His role as the ninth justice will be a pitch-perfect replacement for Scalia.

It's an encouraging nomination for people who feared the worst. 

Gorsuch is a considerably moderate nomination, coming from a man who banned immigrants from seven countries, proposed building a wall on our southern border and surrounded himself with a cabinet of ultra-conservatives, like Steve Bannon, in his first two weeks as president.

His devotion to following the constitution is also encouraging for Americans. As Trump's administration continues to discredit the media, sign unprecedented executive orders and disregard truth with "alternative facts," Gorsuch and his colleagues most doggedly protect the constitution from being misinterpreted, disobeyed or even destroyed.     

In addition, Gorsuch has shown an effort to keep politics and partisanship out of the courts. It's a task exceedingly difficult, but ever more vital in our modern age.

There is no place for party agendas on America's most esteemed protector of its laws and interpreter of its constitution.

He is not the liberal that some hoped would fill Scalia's seat, but he's not the radical ultra-conservative many feared. 

Those who supported former President Barrack Obama's SCOTUS nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, can find somewhat similar moderate traits in Gorsuch.

His history of protecting defendant rights and dissenting on cases of law enforcement overreach shows he passes down rulings with common-sense and humanity.

In a 2011 case in which a middle school student was arrested for burping in class and disrupting the educational process, Gorsuch cited "Oliver Twist" in his decision, saying "often enough the law can be 'an ass — an idiot,' and there is little we judges can do about it, for it is emphatically our job to apply, not rewrite, the law enacted by the people's representatives."

With today's partisan political culture, America needs a justice who doesn't have a political agendas. The country needs a justice who will call out "an ass — an idiot" law or executive order as unconstitutional. 

Gorsuch will have to stand up to the man who gave him his seat on Tuesday.

Most importantly, if approved by the required 60 senators, Gorsuch must embody the oath of the Supreme Court to administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich.



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