Supreme Court Nomination

Same topic, different views

By Tim Baldwin and Joe Carbonari

By Tim Baldwin

President Trump appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Scalia. Conservatives and even some liberals welcome this appointment.

Justice Gorsuch is a refreshing sign of future jurisprudence in America because he has a record of holding governments to their limited powers, has maintained longstanding integrity, is independent (by credible indications and testimony) and believes in interpreting the Constitution as intended and textually.

Unlike Scalia, Justice Gorsuch has revealed his distaste for police abuse and overreach in his opinions. When issues regarding the Fourth Amendment are before him, it appears he will not be lenient, will hold government to its limitations on searches and seizures, and will not turn a blind eye to unconstitutional executive action. This is reassuring considering Trump’s administration will likely cause many such issues to be litigated. Trump opponents should be thankful here.

Justices are people, too, and of course have differences of opinion regarding the manner of interpreting and construing constitutional and legal meaning. But in a day when the federal government’s reach is felt on just about every subject and action of life, appointing a justice who holds a philosophy of limited government appears very prudent and good for America.

Trump may be stirring the pot on other issues, but his Supreme Court appointment should be recognized for what it is: a wise decision.

By Joe Carbonari

Is Neil Gorsuch intellectually and morally prepared and experienced enough to serve as a Supreme Court Justice? It would certainly seem so. It appears that fate has smiled on the GOP., and that the left/right balance of the court is going to stay right of center for a while. Historically, many justices have moderated over time. The weight of the decisions they are asked to make is sobering. Gorsuch starts out in the mainstream. He is not of the fringe.

As a strict constructionist he plays an interesting game. He places more importance on what was intended when the Constitution was adopted than what the ramifications might be today if the words are literally interpreted. As an “expert” in what was initially intended he can, nonetheless, slant his interpretation of the literal to accommodate the world as we face it now. Remember, strict constructionists are still less than sure about original, contextual meaning; nonetheless, they purport to know enough to nudge things toward their interpretation. This is judicial activism writ small. It tends to slow change and forces the legislative and executive branches to deal with the pressing problems of the day through the give and take of politics. This is not all bad.

I’d suggest to the left that this particular nomination is not a battle to be fought. It is not a decency issue. Let’s confirm Gorsuch and then concentrate on keeping the Trump administration from causing undue harm as they learn how to steer the ship of state.

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