Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure Neil Gorsuch is a decent human being on many levels. In fact, when I found out that he criticized Sub-President Trump’s insults toward a judge in Seattle that blocked his Muslim ban, I even gained a pretty good amount of respect for him. That doesn’t mean I want him confirmed, because his Hobby Lobby decision is theocratic bullshit and the Republicans cannot be rewarded for acting like petulant children with Merrick Garland.
But, still in a private meeting with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, Gosruch called it “demoralizing and disheartening” that Trump would go at the federal judge that blocked his Muslim ban. You’ll recall that Trump had yet another Twitter tantrum (Twantrum?) over the last few days because of the injunction. Considering that, whether accidental or not, the Trump White House website was missing a link to the Judiciary Branch, we can at the very least surmise from how he’s behaved in the first weeks of his tenure, that Trump has zero respect for the courts, and that he likely doesn’t truly understand they are a co-equal branch of government.
Of course, in his deluded brain there is no equal to him, no matter what his current position is. Gorsuch of course is completely correct. Trump’s attacks on the judiciary are ludicrous.
Whether it’s not-so-subtly calling the legitimacy of the judge into question by calling him a “so-called” judge…
…or whether he’s whining about the literal, necessary, and regular functionalities of our government that are now acting as they are designed to because he doesn’t actually understand how our government, the one he’s not the head of one-third of works…
…or whether he’s stoking the fires of anger and angst among his base against the judiciary…
…or whether he’s trying to imply that we have to make a false choice between law and order and national security, and blaming it all on the Seattle judge…
…or whether he’s doubling-down on the implication that a federal judge has just personally acted in a way that endangers the American people just because he held that Trump’s Muslim ban was unconstitutional…
…or whether he’s trying to imply that unless he has a judiciary that is willing to roll over and rubber stamp every decree he makes, we’re all going to be in severe danger…
…the glaring and obvious fact is that Donald Trump doesn’t have the slightest compunction about sewing deep seeds of distrust and chaos. He has no problem further eroding his base’s trust in the system. I’m not going to get all hand-wring-y on you and suggest these are words that will lead us into a new civil war or anything, but there can’t be any doubt how dangerous it is for the president to do things that essentially eat away at the internal checks and balances that hold our government together and keep one branch from running away with immeasurable power.
Maybe Trump thought that the courts would work like Congress, which is to say not at all. Maybe he thought the judiciary was as paralyzed by politics as the legislative is. But that would only further prove his ignorance and the ignorance of his staff. The judiciary is apolitical by default. While it’s true that court appointments can be bogged down by politics — ask Garland or Gorsuch about that — the courts are simply there to interpret law, and that’s why we’ve seen even people appointed by George W. Bush smacking the Muslim ban around; it’s just not a sound order. Or at least it hasn’t been found to be just yet and may not ever be, which is ultimately what’s driving Trump nuts.
He’s not alone as a right-winger angry at the concept of judicial review. Just today I saw a moron that runs Unbiased America — a Facebook page that nowhere near lives up to its name — suggest that we should just abolish lower courts because they rule against his side. Well, that’s not what he said out loud, because he knows he’d be called an idiot for it, but he made up some grand excuse as to why we should just start slashing courts out of existence.
Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch on Wednesday called President Donald Trump’s recent attacks on the judiciary “demoralizing and disheartening” in a private meeting with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.), the senator said, in remarks confirmed by the team tasked with ensuring the judge’s confirmation. Sen.
Conservatives desperately want to undo the reconstruction acts. They want more than anything to wrench the government back to what it was before the Civil War. Truth to be told, I think a lot of them don’t want judicial review to even be a thing anymore, because they, rightly so, surmise that it’s been used to move society along when the arduous and arcane task of getting an actual constitutional amendment passed is just too much to ask for in dealing with one issue or another.
So I’m not surprised that Trump is coming so aggressively at the judiciary. I just hope that Gorsuch’s ability to speak out about how absurd and stupid it is means that he’s not the only Republican or conservative willing to do so. The bottom line is that it’s just one more window into how insane, unprepared, and ill-qualified Trump and his entire team are to be running our government at such high levels. Imagine any other Supreme Court nominee even having the occasion to shit talk something the president who nominated him said.
It wouldn’t happen, and it’s just one more example of how not-normal shit is going to be for quite some time around here.
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.