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He comes across as too affable—to the point of seeming contrived and disingenuous. He didn’t get to where he is today by being a true non-partisan nice guy inside. He also knew that keeping many of his opinions to himself was the expedient way to assure future options. But he has left some bread crumbs for us to examine in some of his rulings so far.
He has been a low profile networking Republican for years- but no principled, neutral bystander. He was involved in the Bush campaign in Ohio when anti-gay legislation was placed on the ballot to lure as many low lifers out of their lairs as possible to help win the presidential election in that state. This is no naïve Gomer Pyle nice guy and no Leave it to Beaver Ward Cleaver. The truly effective people who pull this kind of show off are career deceptors. They cloak their ideology in pastor-like demeanors, like Jerry Falwell and Franklin Graham; these folks got more blatant as time went by.
Gorsuch’s mother, Anne, a Republican ideologue, got canned in 1983 as Reagan’s head of the EPA when she became a mismanagement icon while attempting to gut that ‘overreaching’ ‘big government’ agency (Another incompetent Bush “Brownie”). She couldn’t even swing a clean meat axe. In the true spirit of Reagan, she firmly believed that government was always the problem, rather than a solution. She was a deconstructor. Her reputation was as a hard-ass, but unskilled, administrator.
Anne’s demise most certainly helped to shape her son Neil’s view of regulation. Her firing must have bit hard. He was a student in a private prep school while mom was going down the drain, working his way towards becoming a skilled lawyer. He had a comfortable growing up, and didn’t have to sweat little things like tuitions and living expenses. A chain smoker, Anne died of cancer at age 62 in 2004.
Gorsuch was noticeably affected by the questions posed by Senator Al Franken, particularly when quizzed about the devastating ruling on a truck driver’s firing which destroyed his livelihood. He can be seen taking a deep breath after several pointed questions by Franken.
The Hobby Lobby case was a small taste about what he believes the balance of power should be between employers and workers. The Green family’s religious rights to deny contraceptive benefits in the company health care plan outweighed the religious and employment rights of all of its employees. Gorsuch is the kind of person who will put his thumb on the scale of justice when it resonates with his person beliefs, and he will be ever so smooth in justifying that with minute technicalities of law and the constitution that he can paper over his thumb with.
The real question we seem to be left with is whether he will use a thumb or an elbow. Given his adoration of Antonin Scalia, I would bet on elbows.
One question that has been missed in the hearings so far is raising the question of conflict of interest. Scalia, his idol, was not shy about cavorting with people like Dick Cheney at a time when matters could come before the court that affected Cheney and his associates. Scalia essentially gave anyone the finger if they brought that to his attention. Both Scalia and justice Thomas have been unapologetic about their failure to recuse themselves when the conflicts were glaring.
Is Gorsuch no more than a Scalia in Ward Cleaver clothing? From the security of his life time post on the Supreme Court, his world view will probably be offered with much less regard for what anyone else thinks of it.
We have all known a bland co-worker who shows their true personality only when they experience the power of a promotion.
This appointment is not his to have. It was stolen and will forever cloud his tenure on the court. All Dems should vote no. Receiving stolen property is a crime.