I know that a lot of liberals out there are beside themselves at the news that Neil Gorsuch has been nominated by Donald Trump to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. To a man and woman you feel as though that vacancy should've been filled last year by Merrick Garland, who was nominated by Barack Obama eleven months ago and yet never received the decency of an up or down vote in the Senate. I share your disgust over that disgrace.
And yet I'm not nearly as pessimistic over this pick as some may be. For one thing, Gorsuch is replacing Antonin Scalia, not Ruth Bader Ginsburg, so in essence the balance of the Court hasn't changed at all. There are still four liberal justices on the bench, along with two right-of-center justices, who have on occasion voted against the conservatives on the bench, much to the chagrin of the Far Right.
It was this Court that twice rejected challenges to the Affordable Care Act and gave us the Obergefell decision that to this day has stuck in the craw of conservative evangelicals throughout the country. And while it also struck down a vital part of the Voting Rights Act, on balance it was not as ideologically conservative as many think; at least not to actual conservatives.
The real challenge will come with the next vacancy. If it turns out to be a liberal seat - and it may well be - then we could be talking about a sea change of epic proportions. Forget gay rights, we could be looking at sixty years of jurisprudence out the window, starting with Brown v. Board of Education. I shit you not. This is where the Far Right wants to take this country: back to separate but equal and a woman's place is in the home.
They've made no bones about it. This is why the religious Right bedded down with this narcissistic asshole. They knew he was nuts, but they ignored all that because of the Supreme Court. In a way, Scalia's death motivated them far more than it did progressives, who should've seen the urgency, but for some strange reason didn't.
Conservatives have long held that the only way to return the country back to its "roots" as they say is through the courts; and what better way to do that then through the highest court in the land? Now they have their chance, courtesy of the most unstable man ever to occupy the Oval Office. But, for now, all they have achieved is the status quo.
Does that mean that Democrats should lay down and vote for this justice? Fuck no. They should do to Trump's nominee what the GOP did to Obama's; filibuster the shit out of it. And if Mitch McConnell decides to go nuclear then so be it. He runs the risk of having the same tactic applied to him if the Dems take back the Senate, which they might in two or four years. What goes around comes around in Washington.
In the meantime, cheer up Libs. This isn't the end of the world. In fact, given the way this would-be dictator is behaving, we could be looking at the shortest presidency since William Henry Harrison, assuming of course that Trump doesn't destroy the planet first.