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Warren writes: "When justice Antonin Scalia died last year, giant corporations and their right-wing buddies spent millions of dollars to keep the Supreme Court seat open so that Donald Trump could fill the vacancy."

Elizabeth Warren. (photo: Michael Dwyer/AP)
Elizabeth Warren. (photo: Michael Dwyer/AP)


Neil Gorsuch Does Not Belong on the Supreme Court

By Elizabeth Warren, The Boston Globe

21 March 17

 

hen Justice Antonin Scalia died last year, giant corporations and their right-wing buddies spent millions of dollars to keep the Supreme Court seat open so that Donald Trump could fill the vacancy. It was only the latest step in their campaign to tilt our courts in favor of big corporations and the wealthy. Now, the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court is their reward. Anyone who believes in a neutral Supreme Court guided by equal justice for all should oppose this nomination.

Over the past three decades — as the rich have gotten richer and middle-class families have been left behind — the scales of justice have been weighted further and further in favor of the wealthy and the powerful. That tilt is not an accident. It’s the result of a deliberate strategy by powerful interests to turn our courts over to the highest bidder.

Its effects have been devastating. Recent court decisions have let giant corporations that cheated their consumers off the hook, unleashed a flood of secret money into the political process, and made it easier for businesses to abuse and discriminate against their employees.

At the core of this strategy is an all-out attack on fair-minded, mainstream judges. A prime example is the unprecedented blockade of Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court — a consensus nominee praised by Republicans and Democrats alike as a thoughtful, intelligent, and fair judge. None of that mattered for powerful right-wing groups that decided that Garland’s record did not reflect a sufficient willingness to bow down to the interests of the wealthy few. So they poured millions into a public smear campaign to stop his confirmation and leave the seat open.

During his campaign, Trump promised to nominate a Supreme Court justice selected exclusively from a list drawn up by far-right groups with ties to these same wealthy interests. As president, Trump kept that promise when he nominated Gorsuch last month to fill the vacancy.

Even before his elevation to the bench, Gorsuch’s right-wing, pro-big business views were clear. For example, he wrote an article arguing that liberals are too addicted to the court system and should keep important social issues like gay marriage, physician-assisted suicide, and school vouchers out of the courts. Notably absent was a similar critique of conservatives who pursue their interests in the court system. And Gorsuch has advocated for making it harder for investors and shareholders to bring lawsuits when companies commit securities fraud.

On the bench, his judicial decisions show a remarkable ability to shape and re-shape legal arguments in ways that benefit large corporations and disadvantage ordinary people seeking justice. In the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores case, when he had to choose between the “rights” of corporations and the rights of women, Gorsuch sided with corporations. In consumer protection cases, when he had to choose between the “rights” of corporations and the rights of swindled consumers, Gorsuch sided with corporations. In discrimination cases, when he had to choose between the “rights” of corporations and the rights of employees to be free from harassment and abuse, Gorsuch sided with corporations.

Gorsuch has taken positions that are even more extreme than his extremely conservative colleagues. When it comes to the rules that protect public health and safety, Gorsuch is more radical than Scalia was. Gorsuch believes that courts should not be required to defer to expert agency interpretations of their governing laws. If he had his way, he’d make it even easier for corporations to challenge health and safety rules that prevent them from polluting our air and water, poisoning our food, undermining public safety, or cheating people out of their hard-earned savings.

Big companies and rich right-wing billionaires are spending top dollar to help a judge like Gorsuch get over the finish line. But that’s not how our court system is supposed to work. Our courts are supposed to be neutral arbiters, dispensing justice based on the facts and the law — not the party with the most money or political power.

Gorsuch is charming and intelligent. He has an impressive legal pedigree. But this is not a Miss Congeniality pageant or a contest for the nominee with the fanciest degrees. This is a vote for a justice who will sit on the highest court in our nation for the next generation and decide cases that will touch every human being in this country. Cases about a woman’s right to choose, voting rights, LGBTQ rights, secret spending in our political system, and freedom of speech and religion. The next Supreme Court justice will help determine whether our courts will serve the interests of all of us or bend to the will of the powerful moneyed few who helped place them on the court.

There is only one question that should guide us in that decision: whether the nominee will defend equal justice for every single one of us — rich or poor, black or white, female or male, gay or straight, popular or unpopular. Gorsuch’s record shows that he is not that nominee.

At a moment when the awesome power of the presidency is in the hands of someone who has shown contempt for our Constitution, our independent judiciary, our free press, and the principles that make our nation a beacon of democracy, this decision is more consequential than at any time in recent history. We cannot stand down when the president of the United States attempts to hand our highest court over to the highest bidder. And that is why I believe Judge Gorsuch’s nomination should be blocked.

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+42 # ER444 2017-03-21 11:45
Should be.... Fat chance.
 
 
+12 # Farafalla 2017-03-21 17:57
The Dems in the Senate will cave. They only know how to placate the right. They will never fight for the left.
 
 
+29 # tedrey 2017-03-21 18:19
Don't start by giving up.
 
 
+35 # Wise woman 2017-03-21 17:16
Go for it, Liz. We poor folks don't have much influence in these matters. Still disappointed in your behavior last year. If you had backed Bernie, we wouldn't be in this mess.
 
 
+40 # Art947 2017-03-21 17:27
If Neil Gorsuch was killed by being run over by a truck from one of the corporations that he has supported, it would be no loss to our society. The fact that this neanderthal member of the legal profession has no sense of decency, compassion, or understanding of the human condition is all one should need to know to prevent him from ever serving on SCOTUS!

A pox on ANY "democrat" who does NOT filibuster this illegal nomination. In fact, "Democratic" Senators can probably change their party affiliation if they vote to confirm this bum as there will be a greater exodus from the party than Hillary experienced in the 2016 election!
 
 
+6 # jsluka 2017-03-21 17:35
He will be appointed. The tide towards destruction now appears to be inevitable.
 
 
-25 # rowbyrd 2017-03-21 17:58
Such a hypocrite, Senator Biden did the same thing for 18 months so why is this any different?
 
 
-1 # Cassandra2012 2017-03-22 18:20
Quoting rowbyrd:
Such a hypocrite, Senator Biden did the same thing for 18 months so why is this any different?

FauxNoise???
 
 
+23 # Robbee 2017-03-21 18:30
- go elizabeth! - more importantly - robbee trusts bernie and elizabeth to do all they can to enlist ALL dem senators to filibuster this fiend, corporatist, scalia-clone nominee!

"Recent court decisions have let giant corporations that cheated their consumers off the hook, unleashed a flood of secret money into the political process, and made it easier for businesses to abuse and discriminate against their employees."

- this is how gore-suck decides cases!

if not gore-suck? who will dem senators filibuster?
 
 
+27 # chrisconnolly 2017-03-21 18:40
All for money. Truly and evil empire we have become.
 
 
+10 # vt143 2017-03-21 19:21
This nomination should be filibustered but the Dems don't have the balls. They will fall in line. Boom, boom, boom. Down the funny stairs.
 
 
+29 # economagic 2017-03-21 19:28
"Fairness" is not in the lexicon of the ruling class -- only "ruling."
 
 
+16 # lfeuille 2017-03-21 23:28
Of course he doesn't belong on the court. The question is will Warren or any ot the other Dems. be willing to filibuster to keep him off?
 
 
+19 # librarian1984 2017-03-22 07:36
Gorsuch hides his barbarism behind an smiling facade but his cruelty shines forth from his decisions and opinions. He obviously lacks the empathy and compassion that every judge should possess. I was no fan of Merrick Garland but this seat was stolen -- and the outrageous behavior of the GOP should NOT be rewarded. Unfortunately we're at the mercy of the Democrats, who've made their careers surrendering.

This affable 50 year old hypocritical liar would have decades to bolster the corporate agenda. NO! Big business already has every advantage in the US, the gift of both parties, and they should not get this.

Republicans say this was Scalia's seat therefore the replacement needs to be as conservative as him, but does anyone doubt that if the most liberal justice was being replaced their tune would change? There are so many reasons to condemn the GOP -- but somehow Dems never manage to score a point let alone stop their reprehensible actions.

Bill Clinton actually had to fight the Dems to move to neoliberalism -- but they seem even more loathe to let it go. Children go hungry, bridges crumble, people die from lack of healthcare -- but Democrats simper and snivel -- and attack the only principled politician in DC, Bernie Sanders, more than they resist the GOP.

FDR told the people to 'make him' pass their agenda, using public pressure to motivate political change -- but these Democrats whimper for us to let them surrender in peace.
 
 
+8 # Maybe 2017-03-22 16:14
While I totally agree with everything Sen. Warren has written, II disagree with everyone who automatically assumes the Democrats will cave. Have you been listening to the hearings? Dianne Feinstein certainly hasn't let Gorsuch off the hook, and - to date - Chuck Schumer has tossed out the possibility that no hearings for the Supreme Court should take place while the "White House is being investigated". If the Russians have done one good thing for us, they have involved Trump in a potentially huge scandal. Hooray for you, Elizabeth! Keep fighting!
 
 
+1 # DongiC 2017-03-23 19:43
The scandal that Trump finds himself in with his associates and the Russians creates an opportunity to delay Gorsuch's confirmation. Maybe, Trump and his campaign team will be found guilty of obstruction and meddling in the election process. Presto, they are gone.Dunes was afraid of something when he ran off to warn Trump of someone or something of possibly great danger, Keep tuned and, Senator Warren, you are doing a fine job.
 
 
0 # elkingo 2017-03-25 00:44
A well groomed psychopath.A perfect choice by this uh, "administration ".
 

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