Weekly Columns

The Senate made the right decision for our nation by confirming Neil Gorsuch as an associate justice on the Supreme Court. His credentials are exceptional. His resume is impressive. His judicial demeanor, professional competence and integrity all exceed what you expect from someone nominated to serve on the highest court in the land.

Neil Gorsuch checks every box.

So much so, that the American Bar Association (ABA) gave him its highest rating.

The ABA’s assessment has long been considered by many of my Senate colleagues as the “Gold Standard” when it comes to evaluating a nominee’s fitness to serve on the court.

Neil Gorsuch is about as mainstream of a jurist you will find.

He was unanimously confirmed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. His decisions have been with the majority of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals 99 percent of the time and 97 percent of those decisions were unanimous.

Despite all of these reasons to confirm Neil Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court, my Democrat colleagues forced the Senate to abandon our longstanding tradition by leading a partisan filibuster against a Supreme Court nominee for the first time ever.

Senate Democrats—at the behest of outside, far-left activist groups—forced the chamber to break from a nearly 230-year old precedent of confirming Supreme Court nominees by a simple majority vote.

Why? Well, when you go down the list, there is only one reason. That reason is not based in substance or reality. It is purely partisan.

As I noted above, Neil Gorsuch is a mainstream jurist who is eminently qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. No one was able to dig up anything remotely resembling a scandal in his past during this process. You can’t manufacture a controversy where none exists.

Senate Democrats instead tried to create new standards out of thin air to justify this blatantly partisan act. They demanded he tell the Senate and the American people exactly how he would rule on matters that may come before the court—especially in instances where the activist base has a very keen interest.

As Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley rightly pointed out, it would be inappropriate for a nominee to offer hints or make commitments on matters that may come before the Court. That standard was set forth during Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s confirmation hearings. 

That standard held then. It holds now. 

This left Senate Democrats with a filibuster that lacked a reason. The only explanation for it is that Senate Democrats expected to be voting on a nominee put forth by a Democrat administration, not one put forth by President Trump.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer went as far as to suggest the Senate abandon Neil Gorsuch’s nomination and ask the president to submit a new nominee who his caucus could support.

This demand rings hollow.

Here’s the truth. If this nominee cannot get the Senate Democrats’ blessing for a vote, then no nominee put forth by the president can.

Neil Gorsuch is a mainstream jurist who has climbed to the top rung of his profession. Yet, they filibustered him.

I am proud that the Senate took the appropriate steps to confirm Neil Gorsuch. I am confident that his tenure on the Supreme Court will be defined by the same commitment to the law that he has displayed through the course of his judicial career.