After two centuries of precedent and Senate tradition, Sen. Ron Johnson and his fellow Republican Senators voted today to blow up the Senate rules for President Donald Trump’s extreme Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch has shown time and time again that his ideas are far outside the judicial mainstream, and have no place on our nation’s highest court.
Gorsuch’s extreme record should keep him from ever being a Supreme Court justice, but Sen. Ron Johnson decided to abandon 200 years of tradition and dissolve the 60-vote threshold for appointments to the Supreme Court. The decision to invoke a “nuclear option” and lower the vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees undermines the Senate and our democracy.
Gorsuch’s decisions have been wildly pro-corporate and both anti-worker’s and women’s rights, such as his decision in the Hobby Lobby case allowing a corporation to strip crucial contraceptives from its employees’ health care plan. His decisions have often been cruel: he once declared that a trucker had committed a fireable offense by seeking shelter after his employer left him stranded for hours in sub-zero weather with no heat and his body beginning to go numb. Gorsuch supported using a legal standard that would deny disabled children a decent education, an interpretation of the law rejected by every sitting Supreme Court Justice. Anyone with views as extreme and ludicrous as these has no place on the highest court in the land.
It’s clear that if confirmed, Gorsuch will be too extreme of a justice to be an independent check on the Trump Administration. In a time when our President is under FBI investigation and continues to push potentially unconstitutional actions, it is crucial the court remains objective.
“Today, Republicans in Washington demonstrated just how low they’ll go to hold on to power and usher Donald Trump’s anti-democratic agenda through Congress,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesman Brandon Weathersby said on Thursday. “Supreme Court justices can alter the rights and freedoms of all Americans. The highest court in the land plays one the most important roles in our democracy and Sen. Ron Johnson just voted to confirm justices to the bench with party-line votes.”