Judge Neil Gorsuch is the Supreme Court Justice America needs, though, perhaps not the one it deserves. In a deeply divided nation, Gorsuch brings stability and astuteness.
No one on either side of the aisle opposed Gorsuch when he was up for confirmation for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. No one has reason to oppose him now. I hope both our senators give him their full support.
Sen. John Hoeven seems to be doing just that. He said, "Gorsuch has a strong record of upholding the law ... he has the experience necessary to serve on our nation's highest court." No one could argue with that.
Even Neal K. Katyal, an acting solicitor general under the Obama Administration and current Georgetown law professor, wrote an article in the New York Times titled, "Why Liberals Should Back Neil Gorsuch."
Katyal is upfront about having a different political leaning than Gorsuch, but testifies that based on his relationship working with him, he is confident Judge Gorsuch is fair and independent. Acknowledging the tension in the current political environment, Katyal reinforces the importance of Americans ability to trust the impartiality of the judicial branch as a keystone to public confidence in the American system of government.
"I have no doubt that if confirmed, Judge Gorsuch would help to restore confidence in the rule of law. His years on the bench reveal a commitment to judicial independence - a record that should give the American people confidence that he will not compromise principle to favor the president who appointed him ... the public could use some reassurance that no matter how chaotic our politics become, the members of the Supreme Court will uphold the oath they must take: to 'administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich. I am confident Neil Gorsuch will live up to that promise."
But Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is, apparently, not so sure. She has been described as "genuinely undecided" on Gorsuch.
I understand that the left is unfairly putting enormous pressure on democratic senators like Sen. Heitkamp who are up for reelection to oppose Judge Gorsuch just because they want to fight President Donald Trump. I pray Sen. Heitkamp is able to resist the pressure to assail this honorable nominee for political calculations, ignoring such a clear record.
The people of North Dakota do not care about Washington gamesmanship. They care about things like the rising cost of health care and keeping our families safe. They care about fighting against those who want to divide our nation, which is the opposite of caving into the pressure to oppose Gorsuch.
Neal Katyal is right; Judge Gorsuch could prove a healing force for our polarized and skeptical nation. He has decried judges legislating from the bench and believes decisions should be made based on the law, not personal opinion. As he puts it:
"It is the role of judges to apply, not alter, the work of the people's representatives ... A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge, stretching for results he prefers rather than those the law demands."
Thus, Judge Gorsuch will adhere to the constitutional scope of authority bestowed upon Supreme Court Justices - to judge the constitutionality of enacted laws, not to write them. Perhaps such an example could help lift America's gaze up from the political mire and to the Constitution and the ideals written therein "in Order to form a more perfect Union."
Sen. Heitkamp has a contentious election year approaching. She has said this doesn't scare her, but it should. She should not paint herself as an extremist by opposing a commonsense candidate like Judge Gorsuch.
Thorson is the North Dakota State Director for Concerned Women for America.