Senate GOP neglects duty with Court nominations

For 20 gruesome hours, Senate Democrats grilled Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, looking for holes in a near-perfect resume. Any criticisms are essentially meaningless. Gorsuch is a polished, respectable and safe choice. The man himself is not the problem; that problem lies in the how and why of his nomination.

With ample support from Louisiana legislators, Gorsuch’s confirmation appears certain, regardless of a Democratic filibuster. The unfortunate fact is that these Louisiana lawmakers are distorting and undermining our American democracy by supporting any nominee other than Merrick Garland.

“I urge the Senate to do their job of providing advice and consent in an expeditious manner, so the Supreme Court can fully and properly perform its role in our great system of democracy,” House Majority Whip and Louisiana Representative Steve Scalise said. Senator Bill Cassidy and Representative Garret Graves, both of Louisiana, also encouraged a rapid confirmation.

These are the views of elected representatives who have failed their constituents. More than a year ago, Republicans blocked then-President Barack Obama’s choice of Merrick Garland, an initiative spearheaded by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Such an endeavor spat in the face of American democracy.

The block was historic as it had no backing in constitutional law and was unabashedly a petty political power grab. In denying an over-qualified, centrist judge a hearing, Republicans created an uneasy future, one of political deception overriding our Constitution and the actual needs of the American people.

Republicans cannot refute the truth: Obama was in office, he chose a man for the spot, he fulfilled his duty as laid out by the Constitution. To deny this is foolish.

Many argue that Gorsuch is a great choice to fill Antonin Scalia’s vacancy on the Supreme Court, and they’re not wrong. In fact, if Scalia had died during President Donald Trump’s tenure, his choice of Gorsuch would probably be celebrated by many. But this is not what happened, and an America that chose Obama as its president has been denied justice.

Picking apart Gorsuch’s history is fruitless – obviously, Democrats have no choice but to filibuster and kick up a storm of criticism, but the real conversation should never deviate from Garland. Gorsuch’s inevitable Supreme Court nomination must always contain an asterisk, an important reminder of unconstitutional Republican obstructionism and the uneasy road that lies ahead for our divided country.

This is an opinion article and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Hullabaloo. Josh Axelrod is a freshmen at Newcomb-Tulane College. He can be reached at [email protected].

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