Freshman Senator Kamala Harris, D-Calif., might have one of the most disturbing – albeit increasingly common – arguments against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee yet: He’s not a judicial activist.
Friday morning, the former Golden State attorney general made known that she wouldn’t support Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace Justice Antonin Scalia because he “has consistently valued legalisms over real lives.”
Judge Gorsuch has consistently valued narrow legalisms over real lives. I cannot support his nomination.https://t.co/ocDD7DvKnd
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) March 24, 2017
Naturally, the idea that a judge ought not be more concerned with the application of the law, rather than its outcome, raised some eyebrows.
Legalisms as in...the law? https://t.co/lQHYgNNbiT
— Karol Markowicz (@karol) March 24, 2017
— Ian Tuttle (@iptuttle) March 24, 2017
"Legalisms" is like the complaint about constitutional rights being "technicalities"
— Ed Krayewski (@edkrayewski) March 24, 2017
Once upon a time, a judge was supposed to care about "legalisms."
— Nick Pappas (@NickAPappas) March 24, 2017
Harris links to her recent op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle, where the senator seeks to paint Trump’s nominee in the same league as the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz, a creature desperately in search of a heart.
The implication? Our jurists should be more concerned with emotions and outcomes versus faithful application of the law, and Neil Gorsuch is a big meanie-head.
But that supposedly absent heart debuted on the judge’s sleeve during the hearings. Faced with such questions and accusations multiple times this hearing, the answer or implication thereof has been simple: He didn’t like the outcome, but that’s the law as written (i.e., his job). If legislators don’t like it, change the law or pass a new one.
In her defense, Senator Harris is quite new to her position and may not quite be used to the job of a federal legislator, but she and the 534 members of Congress have the power to change laws and outcomes they don’t like. It’s all lined out in Article I of the Constitution.
Neil Gorsuch is about to go through confirmation. Here are 5 MAJOR questions he should be asked... // Nate Madden Dig even deeper here ==> bit.ly/2kY7AgM
Posted by Conservative Review on Thursday, February 9, 2017
But rather than embrace her role as a legislator and Gorsuch’s as a judge, Harris opts to openly defend judicial activism and cite it as the definitive reason for fighting his confirmation, quoting Thurgood Marshall’s aphorism to “do what you think is right and let the law catch up.”
One only wonders what any of the founders would think of that statement from a member of the “weakest branch of government,” or the use of it to defend bench legislation by a U.S. Senator. Well, they wouldn’t like it. [See: Hamilton, Madison, and Jefferson, for starters.]
As stated concisely by attorney T. Greg Doucette, “I’m sure there are intellectually honest reasons to oppose Gorsuch. ‘Legalisms over real lives – for a judge – is not one of them.”
I'm sure there are intellectually honest reasons to oppose Gorsuch. "Legalisms over real lives" – for a judge – is not one of them.
— T. Greg Doucette (@greg_doucette) March 24, 2017
Nate Madden is a Staff Writer for Conservative Review, focusing on religious freedom, immigration, and the judiciary. He previously served as the Director of Policy Relations for the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative. A Publius Fellow, John Jay Fellow, Citadel Parliamentary Fellow and National Journalism Center alumnus, Nate’s writing has previously appeared in several religious and news publications. Follow him @NateMaddenCR and on Facebook.
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