Wed, 02/15/2017 - 5:00am
Gorsuch is a Bipartisan Fit
Congressman Tom Cole
Almost exactly one year ago, our nation lost a true defender of justice and a brilliant legal scholar. Many, including myself, were shocked at the news that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had suddenly passed away. Sadly, his death profoundly shifted the balance of the Supreme Court. He was a stalwart pillar of constitutional principles, and his sound judgement on many critical issues helped shape American law. Before his untimely passing the court was usually, but not always, a 5-4 split with 4 reliably conservative votes, 4 reliably liberal votes and Justice Kennedy providing the swing vote that decided cases. The Scalia vacancy created a court that occasionally resulted in a 4-4 vote, effectively rendering the highest court in the land deadlocked.
Shortly after Justice Scalia’s death, President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to replace him on the Supreme Court. President Obama cited his constitutional duty when he selected Judge Garland. But with less than a year left in President Obama’s term in office, a Supreme Court selection would have deprived the American people the opportunity to weigh in on the matter through the election of a new president
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