The Senate requires confirmation hearings to give its consent to a nominee to become a Supreme Court Justice. Fortunately, America doesn’t have to suffer through these vaudevillian productions often. The Senators’ partisan conduct is cringe-worthy. Somewhere in this country, Merrick Garland is sipping coffee and thinking, “well at least I didn’t have to put up with this crap.” This Senate hearing is a reality spin off of the Kardashian election. Senators questioning Judge Gorsuch are a gaggle of self-centered, intellectually weak, self-promoters interested only in driving ratings for their own audience. I keep waiting to hear from Senator Kim or Chloe in the Gorsuch Reality Show.
Americans deserve serious, thoughtful, highbrowed, investigation and examination for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. Once confirmed, a Justice doesn’t work for the Senate. Arguably, he or she wields far greater power than mere Senators. The Senate should make these confirmation hearings tough, thorough, exhaustive, and aimed at issues of legal competence and judgment. No one expects the Senate to act as a rubber stamp. America deserves a strong, unapologetic, Senate to ask precise questions to Gorsuch and demand solid answers.
Whatever America deserved … it got something else.
The Senate has brought us a 55 gallon drum of stupid instead. The notion that a former comedian like Al Franken is going to outsmart or pin down Judge Gorsuch is a bit silly. I get that. So instead of asking a few prudent, responsible, thoughtful questions, Franken droned on, sometimes for 10 plus minutes with political speeches. He cut the Judge off, dismissed his responses, and again made himself ring-master. To what end? How does that type of conduct elevate the discussion, illuminate critical facts, or demonstrate the seriousness of the Senate? It does not.
What is the purpose of Democratic Senators asking Judge Gorsuch if Merrick Garland was treated fairly by the Senate? It’s pure politics. Just to demonstrate what a complete sham and mockery this exercise is, note that democratic Senators didn’t ask Judge Gorsuch a very critical legal question related to Merrick Garland. They either were not smart enough or they were terrified of the answer. Most likely, asking a real question isn’t good for ratings.
How the prior US Senate “treated” Merrick Garland and whether that treatment was “fair” is a political question, and Mr. Gorsuch was wise to steer clear of it. In reality, the American people asked and answered the “political question.” That is, if the treatment of Garland was so unfair, and the desire to seat him or any Democratic Presidential nominee to the court so critical, the American people would not have voted in a Republican President, Senate, and Congress.
Why not ask the Judge a relevant, Constitutional question? “Judge Gorsuch, under article II of the Constitution, does “Advise and Consent” require that the Senate hold hearings and a vote when a President rightfully exercises his power to nominate a Justice?”
Isn’t that “the” question a Senator should ask on that issue?
Of course, Democrats know “the” answer. Like cross examination before a jury, these Senators are not looking to ask questions that hurt their political narrative. They are not going to ask questions to which they know the answers, and to which the answers are unhelpful. Instead, these hearings are political theater. It’s a drama; No, it’s a comedy. No, it’s a bad reality show.
Democrats ask questions to please armies of special interests, fundraisers, and political junkies. No one claims these hearings should be free of politics. If the hearing didn’t have politics, it might best be that legal scholars and academics ask the questions. No one wants that. Once it holds a hearing, the Senate has a basic responsibility in its advice and consent function to ask relevant questions.
If nothing else, let’s make America look legitimate again.
The party conducting a war on Trump is acting quite Trumpian. That’s the irony. A Senate confirmation hearing ought not be a reality show of outrageous characters provoking emotion from a drooling, thoughtless audience. It ought to be a serious, somber, intellectual, respectful demonstration of the country’s most responsible people interviewing and questioning a person looking to take one of the most powerful jobs.
So far, all I see is on this episode of The Gorsuch Reality Show is a “Senate gone wild.”
Author: Richard Kelsey
Richard Kelsey is the Editor-in-Chief of Committed Conservative.
He is a trial Attorney and author of the new book on higher education, “Of Serfs and Lords: Why College Tuition is Creating a Debtor Class”
Rich is a former Assistant Law School Dean and Law Professor. At Mason Law Kelsey conceived of, planned, and brought to fruition Mason’s Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property, known as CPIP, drawing on his expertise as a former CEO of a technology company specializing in combating cyber-fraud.
Before returning to private practice, Rich taught legal writing and analysis and an advanced litigation seminar. In 2014 he was elected by the graduating class as the faculty speaker at their graduation.
He is a regular commentator on legal and political issues in print, radio and on TV. Rich has appeared on hundreds of stations as a legal expert or political commentator. He provided the legal analysis for all stages of the Bob McDonnell trial and appeal for numerous outlets including NPR and WMAL.
Rich also writes on occasion for the American Spectator and CNSNews.com.
In his free time, Rich is part of the baseball mafia of Northern Virginia, serving on numerous boards and as a little league and travel baseball coach.
His Twitter handle is @richkelsey.