The nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch by President Donald Trump has put Democrats in a difficult position. After Republicans successfully blocked Obama nominee Merrick Garland, Democrats are prepared to return the favor for Republicans. The threat of the nuclear option still lingers and Democratic opposition to Gorsuch could trigger Republicans to use it, resulting in a greater headache over time.
But Senator Elizabeth Warren, the progressive hero who backed Wall Street favorite Hillary Clinton, has other concerns: the Russians.
Senator Warren specifically stated it is “nuts” for the Senate to confirm Judge Gorsuch while the probe into President Donald Trump’s Russian connections continue. While there is valid concern given an ongoing investigation, the implication here is that Judge Gorsuch himself is compromised. While Judge Gorsuch was nominated by President Trump, he still remains his own man.
In fact, Judge Gorsuch has proven to be his own man independent of influence when he voiced concerns about President Trump questioning the integrity of the judiciary.
The only other reason to use the President’s skeletons to stop Judge Gorsuch is simply partisan politics and that makes Democrats like Senator Warren no better than Republicans. Furthermore, it makes Democrats out to be hypocrites after they criticized Republicans last year for playing shallow partisan politics with the independent judiciary.
Senator Warren’s implication that Judge Gorsuch has connections to the Russians is significant. The probe into the Russian influence in American politics and connections to the Trump Administration continues, with growing political polarization each day.
Does Senator Warren believe that Judge Gorsuch should be investigated for supposed Russian ties?
Judge Gorsuch has already demonstrated his independence from the man who nominated. While President Trump may believe in his nominee, this doesn’t necessarily believe his nominee is a blind loyalist. This is something that all Senators, regardless of political affiliation, should keep in mind when considering nominees for any position.
In the case of this nominee for the Supreme Court, is he truly independent? The Supreme Court has become a polarized battlefield for partisan politics over the years, so it has become increasingly important for nominees to show some independence from their political parties.
Dreaming up connections to foreign governments is counterproductive to the process though and Senator Warren needs to produce some more concrete reasons to oppose the nominee on these grounds.
Furthermore and above all, Democratic Senators need to be aware of the implications of a continued Supreme Court vacancy. They themselves spent all of last year stating that the continued threat of a 4-4 tie could have severe consequences for our government. What does it say if they’re willing to prolong this situation, because of more Russian conspiracy theories and shallow partisan politics?
Hopefully, other Democratic members of the United States Senate don’t share Senator Warren’s obstructionist wishes and grand conspiracy theories regarding the Russian infiltration of the United States Government. It is now more than ever our elected officials need to focus on the facts not hand instead of inventing conspiracy theories to satisfy partisan impulses.