On Wednesday, Judge Neil Gorsuch endured the second day of his confirmation hearings, where Senate Democrats once again tried to trip him up with questions and attempted to force him to reveal how his political beliefs would affect his court judgments.
Just as on Tuesday, though, they failed spectacularly. Minnesota Sen. Al Franken was particularly frustrated after he tried to press Gorsuch on how he felt the Senate treated Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court who never got a hearing.
“But here you are in 2004 pledging your allegiance to the cause and shopping around a resume touting your work on political campaigns dating back to 1976. These messages establish that, for a good deal of your prior career, you didn’t avoid politics,” Franken stated when questioning Gorsuch. “Quite the contrary. You were very politically active.
“So in light of that, I’d like to ask my question again, do you think Merrick Garland was treated fairly by the United States Senate?” he asked.
Despite the obvious thrust of the question, Gorsuch maintained his stance of not getting involved in politics since he became a judge, stressing that as a judge he needs to remain politically neutral.
“Senator, since I became a judge 10 years ago, I have a canon of ethics that precludes me from getting involved in any way, shape or form in politics. There’s a reason why judges don’t clap at the State of the Union and why I can’t even attend a political caucus in my home state to register a vote in the equivalent of a primary,” Gorsuch explained.
The answer appeared to infuriate Franken, who responded with an edge in his voice that talking about Garland wouldn’t mean that Gorsuch was getting involved in politics.
Well, considering the fact that the only reason Franken asked the question was to score a few cheap political points, I’d say Gorsuch was right not to answer it.
Gorusch replied by stating that he knew “the other side” (Republicans) had their views on Garland, and that Franken and his side had their own views and that “by definition is politics.”
That answer didn’t do anything to appease Franken at all, but he realized he had lost that battle and moved on.
You can see the exchange here:
— CNN (@CNN) March 21, 2017
You’d think Franken would understand the simple notion that judges are supposed to remain above politics in order to be as fair as possible. Of course, to a Democrat like Franken, the words “unbiased” and “fair” probably don’t mean much.
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H/T Eagle Rising