Monday, March 27, 2017

Independent judiciary

Stephen Henderson is the editorial page editor for the Detroit Free Press. In his editorial about Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, printed in yesterday’s edition, Henderson talks about Gorsuch’s insistence on judicial independence and what he can do to preserve it.
He spoke eloquently and forcefully during his hearing this week about his disgust over comments that politician make questioning the judiciary’s independence. He said he finds it “disheartening and demoralizing,” and even said he’d have walked out of his interview with President Donald Trump if Trump had asked him to overrule Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling on abortion.

There’s little substantive difference between the things Gorsuch said he detests and the nakedly partisan denial of a hearing for Merrick Garland by GOP senators who supported him in the past. They are both assaults on the independence judges cherish.
Henderson’s suggested that if Gorsuch means what he says he can do something about it: Withdraw his own nomination and demand Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland get the hearing he was denied.

Gorsuch was nominated precisely because of his partisan and conservative views. So…
Even if Gorsuch were to take his seat and be as nonpartisan a reader of the Constitution as possible, his ascension will still have appeased a dastardly injection of raw political whim and ambition into the judiciary.

If he really cares about the independence the judiciary depends upon for credibility and from which the republic draws critical stability, he’ll say he wants nothing to do with any of this.

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