It is often said that pitchers who give up home runs and quarterbacks who throw interceptions need to have short memories. In recent years, congressional Democrats have also found a short memory to be one of the more useful tools in their box. Earlier this year Democrats cried scandal when President Trump fired federal prosecutors en masse, only to learn Presidents Clinton and Obama did virtually the same thing. On Thursday, they employed the short memory device twice in one day to generate faux outrage over the reality that Judge Neil Gorsuch is about to become a member of the U.S. Supreme Court.
After Republicans used the so-called “nuclear option” to move Gorsuch to a confirmation vote on Friday, Brandon Weathersby of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin issued a news release painting Gorsuch as wholly unacceptable to serve on the nation’s highest court:
Gorsuch’s decisions have been wildly pro-corporate and both anti-worker’s and women’s rights, such as his decision in the Hobby Lobby case allowing a corporation to strip crucial contraceptives from its employees’ health care plan. His decisions have often been cruel: he once declared that a trucker had committed a fireable offense by seeking shelter after his employer left him stranded for hours in sub-zero weather with no heat and his body beginning to go numb. Gorsuch supported using a legal standard that would deny disabled children a decent education, an interpretation of the law rejected by every sitting Supreme Court Justice. Anyone with views as extreme and ludicrous as these has no place on the highest court in the land.
It’s clear that if confirmed, Gorsuch will be too extreme of a justice to be an independent check on the Trump Administration. In a time when our President is under FBI investigation and continues to push potentially unconstitutional actions, it is crucial the court remains objective.
What Weathersby doesn’t mention is that a decade ago not one Democratic senator opposed Gorsuch’s confirmation for a seat on the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 10th Circuit based in Colorado. That means then-U.S. Senators Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl, both Wisconsin Democrats, voiced no concerns about a judge Weathersby now claims has: “ideas are far outside the judicial mainstream, and have no place on our nation’s highest court.”
The second memory trick involves this bit of hyperbole by Weathersby:
After two centuries of precedent and Senate tradition, Sen. Ron Johnson and his fellow Republican Senators voted today to blow up the Senate rules for President Donald Trump’s extreme Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch has shown time and time again that his ideas are far outside the judicial mainstream, and have no place on our nation’s highest court.
What Weathersby doesn’t mention is 1) Democrats employed the nuclear option to get lower court judicial appointees confirmed in 2013, and 2) it was Democrats’ unprecedented filibuster of a Supreme Court Justice that left Republicans no alternative to getting Gorusch confirmed. As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday: Judge Neil Gorsuch will be the first and last Supreme Court nominee to be filibustered.