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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Democrats' Misguided Argument Against Gorsuch

I’m not sure who decided that the Democratic critique of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch would be that he doesn’t side with the little guy. It’s a truly terrible idea. Like other liberals, I’m still shocked and upset that Judge Merrick Garland never got the vote he deserved after his nomination by President Barack Obama, and I’d rather have a progressive justice join the court. But the thing is, siding with workers against employers isn’t a jurisprudential position. It’s a political stance. And justices -- including progressive justices -- shouldn’t decide cases based on who the parties are. They should decide cases based on their beliefs about how the law should be interpreted.

Let’s start at the beginning. Way back in the beginning, in fact. The Hebrew Bible, which sides with the little guy a great deal, has something to say about parties to a case. Specifically, Deuteronomy 16:19 says judges shouldn’t “respect persons,” which is the King James Version’s translation of the Hebrew phrase that literally means “recognize faces.” Justice -- which is mentioned in the famous next verse (“Justice, justice shalt thou pursue”) -- requires judges to decide cases under the law, not based on preferences for individuals.


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