“An unmitigated disaster for the progressive constitutional project”

That’s Slate’s opinion of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.

On Monday, Justice Neil Gorsuch revealed himself to be everything that liberals had most feared: pro-gun, pro–travel ban, anti-gay, anti–church/state separation. He is certainly more conservative than Justice Samuel Alito and possibly to the right of Justice Clarence Thomas. He is an uncompromising reactionary and an unmitigated disaster for the progressive constitutional project. And he will likely serve on the court for at least three more decades.

. . .

When Trump first nominated Gorsuch, I was relieved he hadn’t picked an outright lunatic, and I felt cautiously optimistic that Gorsuch might be less of a hard-line conservative than liberals believed. I was wrong. Gorsuch is the worst kind of justice. He is a reactionary who dresses up his cruel, antediluvian views in folksy charm; who professes restraint while espousing extreme, sweeping views; who has no sympathy for vulnerable minorities but believes Christians are being oppressed. And he will guide the course of the law for the next 30 years or more. He is a catastrophe for proponents of civil rights and equal justice. And his influence over the court only stands to grow.

This country is in terrible trouble.

There’s more at the link.

Frankly, I don’t give a damn about any ‘progressive constitutional project’, just as I don’t give two hoots for any ‘conservative constitutional project’.  I think the constitution speaks for itself, as do the deliberations of the Founding Fathers that led to its creation and adoption.  It doesn’t need a ‘progressive’ or ‘conservative’ slant.  Let’s just respect the thing as it is.

However, I would point out that those of us of a more originalist bent felt a bit like that author when it came to the appointment of Justices Sotomayor and Kagan during the Obama administration.  I daresay the author approved of their selection almost as strongly as he disapproves of Justice Gorsuch’s.  That being the case, maybe everybody should rein in their passions, and accept that a President may nominate whomsoever he pleases to the Supreme Court.  Progressives had their way during the previous administration.  Non-progressives will have their way during this one – and there’ll doubtless be similar swings during future administrations.  That’s the way the US political system is set up.  Don’t like it?  Emigrate.

As for the weeping and wailing expressed so poignantly in the Slate article:

Not good jurisprudence, I fear . . . but it has a certain je ne sais quoi, wouldn’t you say?



  1. 1- Every time there's a good Gorsuch decision it just rubs salt into the wounds of the faux-patriots who wanted Hillary to beat Trump because Trump wasn't their kind of Republican. Suck it up, National Review!

    2- Don: "The enemy of my enemy can be dealt with later, and in the meantime might just be useful."

  2. Leftists want lunatics on the bench. We are seeing the results of such insanity & I hope Trump gets enough appointments SCOTUS to turn that around.

    I must say, however, that the Conan quote sits well with me when the left is crushed by the rule of law. That would be very good jurisprudence.

  3. There's a good chance Trump will nominate another justice before his term/s in office are done. If this happens, the number of progressive heads exploding will be remarkable.

  4. There is a decent chance that Trump will nominate another justice before the year is out. There is a good that Trump will nominate 2 justices before his first term is out, and a near certainty that he will have nominated 3 total during his presidency, should he be elected to a second term. (A 4th nomination has a significant non-zero probability, but it is much lower than three). The Actuarial tables do not contain any good information for the liberals. And the Dems forced the Republicans hands with Gorsuch's nomination – which effectively maintained the status quo of the court. That was a stupid political move, IMO.

    Also, Maxim 29 reads: "The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy, no more, no less."

  5. Unfortunately, the premise that the Constitution says what it means and means what it says is something that the Progressive movement has fight against for its entire existence.

  6. Given that what the writer equates "following the written Constitution as originally intended" with "cruel, antediluvian views" I have no problem with his distress.

    And I hope that President Trump is able to render his distress even more extreme by nominating another 3 or 4 justices of similar stripe.

  7. My consistent response to seeing a progressive whine about a setback to their plans for my country is simple, profuse joy. Thank you for the good news.

  8. Hey Peter;

    After President Obama nominated 2 judges, both female, one a "Wise latina" and the other one a lesbian, both catering to identity groups that are powerful within the democratic party. I really don't care if some progressive is "butthurt" about the choices President Trump made. The democrat policies and overreach created Trump and his opponent poor campaign because she believe that it was her coronation run.

  9. Maybe if Congress would do what it is actually tasked with doing, namely writing and passing laws, and stopped letting the SCOTUS do so, the fight over one or two justices would not be such a major issue.

    The fact that the future of the Republic may rest in the hands of a couple Justices should be nauseating to anyone that believes in democracy, republican or otherwise, and is a pretty sure sign that something has gone very wrong with ours.

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