Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Gorsuch

This video from the USA says about itself:

Only One Judge Ruled Against Freezing Truck Driver… Trump’s.

23 March 2017

Trump’s Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch never met a corporate overlord he didn’t worship. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss.

Senator Al Franken (D-MN), as he said himself during Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing on Tuesday, used to have “a career in identifying absurdity” as a humorist and one of SNL’s original writers.

Ironically, his early career has carried over rather too well to policy making, as he demonstrated while grilling Gorsuch about his ruling in the so-called “Frozen Trucker case.”

The case at hand is that of Alphonse Maddin, a truck driver for TransAm. The brakes on Maddin’s trailer locked up on a subzero January night, and he called for help from TransAm’s road service. They told him to wait, and he did — for two hours, despite discovering that the heat in his truck cab was broken. When he was woken by a phone call, he had a numb torso and couldn’t feel his feet.

“If you fall asleep waiting in 14 below zero weather, you can freeze to death. You can die,” Franken explained in his retelling of the case.”

Read more here.

By John Burton in the USA:

Who is Trump Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch?

24 March 2017

Over the last four days, the Senate Judiciary Committee conducted a charade of a hearing for Neil M. Gorsuch, president Donald Trump’s nominee to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by the 2016 death of arch-reactionary Antonin Scalia.

While more polished, tactful and amiable than the crass and bullying Scalia, Gorsuch is expected to vote along the same reactionary lines. Gorsuch will restore the dominant right-wing bloc that, when joined by the conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy, over the last decade destroyed the Voting Rights Act, opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate campaign contributions, empowered corporate bosses to impose their religious views and practices on employees, dismantled environmental protections, stripped workers and consumers of their rights to file lawsuits, stripped search-and-seizure protections, and expanded immunity for police murders and other official misconduct, among other things.

As a private lawyer, Gorsuch represented Colorado billionaire Phil Anschutz, a major contributor to archconservative groups including the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation. In 2006 Anschultz intervened at the White House to advocate that President George W. Bush nominate Gorsuch to a vacancy on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Wyoming and Utah.

The Heritage Foundation and the Federalist Society, an organization dedicated to the right-wing takeover of the United States judiciary, handpicked Gorsuch for Trump. Disclosing how these forces operate out of the public eye, Gorsuch acknowledged that he found out about Trump’s nomination directly from Leonard Leo, the Federalist Society executive vice president widely considered a major right-wing kingmaker.

Gorsuch is relatively young at 49—a major asset for a lifetime appointment—with solid educational and legal credentials, including a coveted Supreme Court clerkship split between Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. More importantly, Gorsuch has proven time and again that he will support dismantling all restraints on corporate looting as well as the expansion of governmental power to suppress the social explosions that will inevitably result.

Writing in 2005 for the conservative National Review, Gorsuch denounced “American liberals,” as “addicted to the courtroom,” for “effecting their social agenda on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide to the use of vouchers for private-school education.”

The hearings opened Monday, with Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican from Iowa, praising Gorsuch as “the gold standard,” labeling any attempt to probe his right-wing views as “political posturing and grandstanding.”

Virtually every Democrat who spoke during the hearing pointed out the hypocrisy after the Republicans refused to consider former president Barack Obama’s nominee for the seat, Merrick Garland.

Gorsuch was introduced to the Judiciary Committee in glowing terms by both senators from his home state of Colorado, including Democrat Michael Bennet. …

Gorsuch’s prepared opening remarks consisted solely of generalities and homilies, interlaced with occasional strained and corny attempts at humor. He studiously avoided any substance that would tend to confirm how he intends to vote on controversial issues he is likely to confront as a justice.

During two days of questioning Tuesday and Wednesday, Gorsuch refused to reveal his views on any substantive issues, denying that he had been asked to submit to any “litmus test.”

“I would tell you that Roe vs. Wade, decided in 1973, is the precedent of the United States Supreme Court,” Gorsuch said when asked about a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy, adding, “all of the other factors that go into analyzing precedent have to be considered,” a hint that Gorsuch would be open to overturning the ruling.

The only new revelations raised during the four-day hearing arise from newly uncovered emails that demonstrate how, during his seven-month stint with the Department of Justice in 2005 and 2006, Gorsuch urged then-president George W. Bush to issue an unprecedented “signing statement” that essentially repudiated the Detainee Treatment Act, a law sponsored by Senator John McCain, a former prisoner of war, that barred US agencies from inflicting cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment on people detained anywhere in the world.

When pressed on the documents by Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, Gorsuch shifted responsibility to others, claiming that he was only their lawyer, not a policy maker. At the same time, Gorsuch refused to state whether he viewed torture techniques such as waterboarding and prolonged sleep deprivation to be illegal.

Later in the hearings, Feinstein asked Gorsuch about a memo where he scribbled “yes” next to the question whether CIA torture had yielded valuable information, knowing from her own Senate investigation that none was obtained.

“I was a lawyer. My job was as an advocate, and we were dealing with detainee litigation. That was my job,” Gorsuch responded.

Similarly, Feinstein pressed Gorsuch whether he actually believes the comments he wrote for Alberto Gonzales, Bush’s attorney general, asserting that Congress lacked authority to require federal agents to always obtain warrants for national security surveillance. “Goodness no, Senator, and I didn’t believe it at the time,” Judge Gorsuch replied, describing himself as only “a speechwriter,” and “the scribe.”

The final day of hearings on Thursday was dedicated to other witnesses, some of whom came to praise Gorsuch as bright, hardworking and fair, and others to condemn his record. Elisa Massimino of Human Rights First pointed out that Gorsuch joined the Bush administration shortly after the sickening images emerged from Afghanistan and Iraq.

Dominated by a Republican majority, the Committee will vote on April 3, most likely along party lines, to recommend Gorsuch to the full Senate, where the only suspense is likely to be whether the Democrats stage a meaningless filibuster before rolling over for his confirmation.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York has pledged to muster the more than 40 Democratic votes needed to block the nomination on the Senate floor under the current rules, on the basis that Gorsuch’s extreme right-wing views are out of the “mainstream.”

Senate Republicans, who control 52 of the 100 Senate seats plus the tiebreaker, can counter a filibuster by changing the rules by majority vote. There are implications to such a maneuver, however, and various media reports cite behind-the-scene negotiations that could affect votes on future judicial nominees or meet the parochial interests of certain senators.

Regardless, there is no reason to believe that Gorsuch will not be confirmed and join the other Supreme Court justices, probably before the current term ends in late June.

The author recommends:

The right-wing record of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch
[2 February 2017]

The CIA torture report and the crisis of legitimacy in the United States
[12 August 2014]

LGBTQ Advocates Horrified By Trump Administration’s Civil Rights Health Pick. “It is going to have a serious, probably devastating impact,” one advocate said: here.

NAACP LDF Statement on Judge Gorsuch’s Failure to Attract 60 Votes Necessary to End Debate on Nomination: here.

11 thoughts on “Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Gorsuch

  1. I wanted you to be among the first to know how I’m planning to vote for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch.

    One of the most solemn and consequential duties I have as a senator is deciding whether to support a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court — and it’s not a responsibility I take lightly.

    After careful consideration, I won’t support moving forward with this Supreme Court nomination, and I will be voting NO on Judge Gorsuch.

    I wanted to make sure you knew about this critical decision — and if you want to make sure your friends and family know, too, make sure to share my Facebook post right now.

    I have a long-held standard for Supreme Court nominations: I examine a nominee’s record and experience, because I need to know whether they meet the basic standards of honesty, ethics, legal qualifications, and a commitment to fairness.

    But you and I know that this nomination is not a normal one. The process to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court began more than 12 months ago, when President Obama upheld his constitutional duty to nominate a well-qualified nominee, Judge Merrick Garland. Senate Republicans refused to do their job and refused to hold a single hearing. And since taking office just months ago, President Trump has demonstrated complete disregard for law, the U.S. Constitution, and the best interests of families in Washington state and across the country.

    But that’s not all. I also have deep concerns with President Trump’s nominee.

    I’ve met with Judge Gorsuch, and based on judicial record and his testimony before the Judiciary Committee, I have concluded that his anti-worker record, his troubling history working on torture policy for the Bush administration, his hostility toward upholding disability rights, and his extreme perspective on women’s health care and rights make me unable to support his nomination to the Supreme Court.

    There’s been a lot of talk about Senate Republicans using the “nuclear option,” but I for one would certainly hope that they don’t change the rules to break the long and important precedent of demanding a 60-vote threshold for lifetime appointments to the highest court in the land.

    Because the truth is, if a nominee can’t get 60 votes, you shouldn’t change the rules, you should change the nominee.

    I believe Neil Gorsuch is the wrong choice for our Supreme Court — if you agree, share with your friends and family on Facebook today.


    Patty Murray
    U.S. Senator


  2. No re-election funds for any Senate Democrat who helps confirm Gorsuch

    The petition to Democratic Senate Campaign Committee Chair Chris Van Hollen reads:
    “Refuse to allocate campaign funds to any Democratic senator who votes or strikes a deal to advance the confirmation of right-wing extremist Neil Gorsuch.”

    Defend the Supreme Court

    What are they thinking? A recent report indicates that some Democratic senators, including Delaware’s Chris Coons, are considering striking a backroom deal with Republicans to confirm Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s extreme-right wing pick for the Supreme Court.1 Last week, Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet heaped praise on Gorsuch when he helped introduce him to the Senate Judiciary Committee.2

    Senate Democrats are the only firewall we have against a Donald Trump Supreme Court that will legitimize his hateful policies, undo decades of civil rights progress and destroy the foundations of our democracy for generations. They must stand united to block Gorsuch from being confirmed, not make nice with him and hand the court over to Trump. That means no deals and no vote to end the filibuster on Gorsuch’s confirmation.

    The Democratic Party claims to stand up for women, LGBTQ people, immigrants, Muslims, people of color, workers, the environment and the bedrock principles of our democracy. If party leaders intend to act on those values, they will refuse to give financial support to Sen. Coons or any other turncoat Democratic senator who collaborates with extremist Republicans to put Gorsuch on the Supreme Court.

    Tell Democratic Senate Campaign Committee Chair Chris Van Hollen to pledge not to allocate any re-election funds for Sen. Coons or any other senators who help put Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court. Click here to sign the petition.

    The Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (DSCC) is the Senate Democrats’ campaigning and fundraising arm. It is known for its prolific fundraising appeals, which have recently included direct requests for donations to help defend the Supreme Court. It would be the height of hypocrisy to use money raised to keep Gorsuch off the court to fund the re-election campaigns of senators who helped him get a lifetime appointment.

    A Trump Supreme Court could institutionalize his extremism for generations. There’s no way any Senate Democrat should preemptively compromise or cave to Republican extremism and help Trump stack the court. Democrats cannot cave at a time when the FBI is actively investigating Trump and his campaign’s potential collusion with Russia to influence our presidential election. They cannot turn their backs against the massive resistance of grassroots activists who just helped to take down Trumpcare.

    Progressive champion Sen. Jeff Merkley has promised to use the filibuster to force Senate Republicans to get 60 votes to advance Gorsuch’s confirmation to a final vote. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has now pledged to join him. Every Senate Democrat should immediately pledge to join the filibuster and refuse to collaborate with extremist Senate Republicans, either by striking a deal to confirm Gorsuch nomination or by voting for cloture to end the filibuster. And DSCC Chair Chris Van Hollen should immediately make clear that any senator who helps hand the Supreme Court to Trump will not receive re-election funds from the DSCC.

    Tell DSCC Chair Van Hollen: Democrats who refuse to defend the Supreme Court from Donald Trump’s racist, fascist agenda should not receive support for their re-election. Click here to sign the petition.

    Trump and extremist Republicans already control two of the three branches of government, leaving the judiciary as our last and only line of defense against their hateful and dangerous agenda.

    It is time for Democratic Party leaders, starting with DSCC Chair Van Hollen, to take a firm stand and draw a bright line: Senators who help advance Gorsuch’s nomination will be helping Trump attack women, people of color, Muslims, immigrants, LGBTQ people, workers and the environment. They will be turning their backs on the party’s base and the party will refuse to support their reelection.

    This is why we are joining 350 Action, #AllofUs, Demand Progress,, Friends of the Earth Action, Other98, Presente, Social Security Works, UltraViolet Action, #VOTEPROCHOICE and our friends in the progressive movement to ramp up the pressure on Sen. Van Hollen. Click the link below to add your voice today:

    Thanks for taking action,

    Heidi Hess, Senior Campaign Manager
    CREDO Action from Working Assets

    Add your name:
    Sign the petition ►


    Burgess Everett, “Democrats weigh deal to let Gorsuch through,” Politico, March 22, 2017.
    Mat Flegenheimer, Carl Hulse, Charlie Savage and Adam Liptak, “Six Highlights From the Gorsuch Confirmation Hearing,” The New York Times, March 20, 2017


  3. Right now the UltraViolet community is pulling out all the stops to block Trump’s handpicked choice for the Supreme Court, right-wing extremist Neil Gorsuch.

    There is too much at stake for Senate Democrats to back down now, and they have to know we are watching.

    To get our message across, UltraViolet members are delivering life-sized model spines to the offices of Senate Democrats who have not pledged to block Gorsuch.

    The vote is coming soon, so we have to act fast. UltraViolet Education Fund is targeting 6 senators, which means we need a total of 6 model spines — one to bring to each office. And we are counting on your support to make these events a success.

    Will you help send a message to Democrats that they need to have a spine and stop Gorsuch? Chip in $5 to UltraViolet PAC.

    Whether it’s denying access to birth control1 or shaming mothers for taking maternity leave,2 Gorsuch thinks it’s acceptable to systematically oppress women. He can’t be trusted to advance or protect women’s rights, and if confirmed he will be a danger to the rights of LGBTQ people, the disabled and immigrants.

    Trump nominated Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court, which means Gorsuch will be Trump’s yes man if he makes it through the Senate. Our courts are the last line of defense against Trump — they must provide a check on the president’s power, not enable it.

    It’s time for Democrats to grow a spine and stand up to Trump and the Republicans who want nothing more than for Gorsuch to fill the empty seat on the Supreme Court.

    Help tell Democrats to grow a spine and block Gorsuch’s nomination. Contribute $5 to UltraViolet PAC right now.

    Thanks for taking action.

    –Nita, Shaunna, Kat, Karin, Adam, Holly, Kathy, Onyi, Susan, Anathea, Audine, Shannon, Megan, Emma, PaKou, Pilar, and Natalie, the UltraViolet PAC team



    1. Who is Neil Gorsuch?, ThinkProgress, January 31, 2017

    2. Reported Gorsuch Statements Show Disqualifying Disregard for Women’s Workplace Rights, National Women’s Law Center, March 19, 2017


  4. I’m asking just one thing of my Senate Republican colleagues: Slow down.

    They’re not listening, and they’re barreling ahead on a move that will fundamentally alter the way we choose the people who sit on our highest court — all to rush through Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch.

    They say they are going to “go nuclear” — that they are going to change the rule that demanded Supreme Court nominees meet the 60-vote threshold to sit on the court. This rule exists to ensure a nominee is from the mainstream and can attract broad support — but going forward, only 51 votes would be necessary to advance a nomination.

    The honest truth is this: If you can’t get 60 votes, you should change your nominee — not the rules. Senate Republicans need to know how dangerous this is: Add your name to tell them to respect the families they represent and stop trying to jam this nominee through by threatening to blow up the Senate rules.

    Since taking office, President Trump has demonstrated complete disregard for the law, the Constitution, and families. It’s clear he doesn’t just think he’s above the law — he has at times shown disdain for it by repeatedly insulting the men and women on the bench.

    So why then are Senate Republicans moving to confirm his nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, at an unprecedented pace? Their timeline is striking, because the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee failed to hold even a single hearing on the vacancy for 12 months following Justice Scalia’s passing. And they refused President Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, any opportunity to be heard.

    With so much chaos in the administration and so many questions surrounding this president’s commitment to the rule of law, we owe it to the people and families we represent to slow down and truly consider this nominee — and all nominees to come, whether they be nominated by Republican or Democratic presidents.

    Invoking the nuclear option is a dangerous path to go down. I’ve been in the majority, and I’ve been in the minority — and either way, I believe when it comes to a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, the Senate must adhere to a higher standard and the 60-vote threshold.

    If you agree, add your name to tell Senate Republicans one last time: If you can’t get 60 votes for a Supreme Court nominee, you don’t need to change the rules. You need to change the nominee.

    Thanks for fighting with me,

    Patty Murray
    U.S. Senator


    > Just How Conservative Was Neil Gorsuch’s First Term?
    > Jul. 25, 2017

    > Jeff Chiu / AP

    > While the Supreme Court is off for its summer recess, scholars have been busy trying to decode the early votes of its newest member, Justice Neil Gorsuch. Where does he sit on the court, ideologically? How has he affected its political dynamics? And what does that bode for future cases?
    > The most prominent measure of such things are called Martin-Quinn scores , after their creators, political scientist Andrew Martin and legal scholar Kevin Quinn. Much like the popular DW-Nominate scores do for legislators, these measures aim to pinpoint justices’ ideologies on a left-right political spectrum using statistical techniques based on the justices’ votes. Martin recently provided FiveThirtyEight with their latest scores, including the court’s 2016-17 term, hot off the statistical press.
    > “The scores show Gorsuch somewhere between [Chief Justice John] Roberts and [Justice Samuel] Alito, but much closer to Alito,” Martin said in an email. “Actually, Gorsuch is statistically indistinguishable from Alito when you look at the standard error (which is huge). Because Gorsuch has participated in so few (non-unanimous) decisions, the model (statistically conservatively) pulls him toward the middle.”
    > Gorsuch’s maiden Martin-Quinn score is 1.344. (Higher positive numbers represent more conservative positions.) The final score of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, whom Gorsuch replaced, was 1.577. Even with his small sample size, Gorsuch is lining up with the court’s conservative bloc and is beginning to resemble the “Scalia clone” we predicted in January. Gorsuch’s score is also comparable to certain select terms of recent right-leaning justices Sandra Day O’Connor (1.382 in 1986) and William Rehnquist (1.371 in 2003).
    > As my colleague Harry Enten and I observed in June , Gorsuch has sided with the court’s most conservative member, Justice Clarence Thomas, in every case so far. And while that certainly hints at a far-right tendency in Gorsuch, too, there is a classic problem: small sample size. Gorsuch has weighed in on only 15 cases in his young Supreme Court tenure.
    > “Thomas’s ideal point is estimated from a ton of data this term (and previous terms) in which Gorsuch didn’t participate,” Martin said. “If, counterfactually, he had agreed with Thomas in all of those cases, he’d be equally extreme, but to make the call on this very small set of cases isn’t plausible. If, next term, Gorsuch and Thomas dissent in a bunch of 7-2 decisions, then, yes, Gorsuch will move to the right of Alito and approach Thomas. Time will tell.”
    > Last term lacked the headline-making fireworks of recent high court history. But the court is scheduled to hear a number of blockbuster cases in its next term, which begins in October. It will weigh in on President Trump’s travel ban , Wisconsin’s redistricting map and same-sex marriage and the First Amendment . Gorsuch will no doubt play a key role — but exactly how conservative he’ll be remains a statistical uncertainty.


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  7. Pingback: Donald Trump, a year of anti-LGBTQ policies | Dear Kitty. Some blog

    > The Koch Brothers Are Plotting a Right-Wing Takeover of America’s Judicial System
    > Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey / Flickr
    > Between Donald Trump’s historic unpopularity and an unprecedented number of resignations in the House and Senate, this year’s midterm elections could prove to be a blue wave for Democrats, even with much of the congressional map gerrymandered against them. If so, the Koch brothers appear to have missed the memo.
    > According to CBS, the right-wing billionaires are “all in” for 2018, planning to spend as much as $400 million on political candidates across the country . But it’s not just Congress they hope to reshape in their own image. The Washington Post reports the oil magnates have their sights set on the next Supreme Court vacancy, and that their political advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity, is “expanding its portfolio into the judicial branch.”
    > “In 2017, the network’s activists worked phones and knocked on doors, urging voters to push their senators to confirm Neil M. Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia,” writes the Post’s Michelle Ye Hee Lee. “The new effort will build on the 2017 work, led by Concerned Veterans for America, which network officials viewed as an indication of how much energy activists will bring to the new judicial campaign.”
    > As part of their latest push, the Kochs announced Sunday that they have hired Sarah Field as vice president of judicial strategy. Field previously worked for the Federalist Society, an ultra-conservative pressure group that has helped Trump stack the courts with any number of far-right ideologues, including Gorsuch .
    > The Kochs’ active involvement in the nomination process speaks to their burgeoning alliance with the Trump administration. While the avowed libertarians refused to endorse Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, they have found common cause with the president on a host of policy matters, ranging from a trillion-dollar tax cut for multinational corporations and the rich, to massive deregulation and the ongoing dismantling of the Environment Protection Agency. As a separate report from Ye Hee Lee and James Hohmann of the Post reveals, they already have a major ally in Marc Short, a former political strategist for the Kochs who now serves as White House liaison to Capitol Hill.
    > “On areas of disagreement where they were once outspoken—such as supporting free trade, advocating more open borders and opposing deficit spending—network officials now tread carefully to downplay divisions and avoid antagonizing Trump,” Ye Hee Lee and Hohmann observe.
    > Over the weekend, more than 500 megadonors, each of whom contributes more than $100,000 annually to the Koch network, gathered at a resort in Palm Springs for a biannual seminar to assess, among other things, the first year of the Trump’s presidency. When Americans for Prosperity's Tim Phillips mentioned the former reality show host’s numerous federal district and circuit court appointments—the most in modern American history—the crowd erupted in applause.
    > “Securing Justice Neil Gorsuch onto the Supreme Court bench was a major victory for freedom, but the fight to realign our courts around the rule of law is far from over,” the newly appointed Field said in a statement. “This year we will mobilize our activists as needed, particularly when members of the Senate choose to needlessly obstruct the confirmation process. When the next vacancy opens on the Supreme Court, we will be ready.”


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