With the morning session of Gorsuch’s hearing day two now complete, there were a few running themes: a cry-in for Merrick Garland’s stillborn nomination; a demand for commitments and opinions on a neverending series of questions about current or landmark cases; a refusal to issue same by the nominee, and finally the question that Gorsuch refused to comment on.
While of course neither Donald Trump nor Neil Gorsuch had anything to do with Merrick Garland or the refusal to advance his nomination, that didn’t stop the Democrat Senators from mentioning it early and often. One must therefore presume it plays well with their base or certain interest groups, because otherwise, what’s the point?
The same must be true for asking the nominee to comment on a number of issues — take your pick: abortion, Hobby Lobby, Lilly Ledbetter, the recent travel ban, etc. Gorsuch was asked over and over again about these issues, and over and over again repeated the mantra that he is unable to comment on them. The NARAL fundraising letter was likely printed even before the hearing: “Gorsuch REFUSES to recognize a woman’s right to choose!”
Senator Feinstein went further, continually prompting the nominee to recognize that Roe vs. Wade was a “super precedent.” Super precedents are a very special types of cases – it’s a case that cannot be overturned no matter what. As defined in Article III – wait – it’s not defined in the constitution, because it’s just a made up thing by Senator Feinstein! There is no such thing as a super precedent. Feinstein just wanted some commitment by Gorsuch to leave Roe v. Wade intact. She got none.
Somehow if Trump requires the nominee to promise to overturn Roe, he and the nominee are beyond redemption, but if a Senator attempts to extract a promise from the nominee to uphold Roe, no matter the challenge, that is appropriate. Then again a hypocrite Senator is a dog bites man story…