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Scales of Justice

Gorsuch’s Unanimous Confirmation

Published on Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Since Judge Neil Gorsuch was nominated to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat you have likely heard that he was appointed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals by a unanimous voice vote in 2006. You’ve also probably read that at the time the Senate included liberals like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold. Not one of them objected to his nomination or voted against him.

Democrats would like you to believe that Gorsuch’s earlier process came in a different era and that’s why they need to filibuster his current nomination despite their past support. This is simply untrue. Gorsuch’s nomination was remarkably uncontroversial in 2006 compared to his fellow nominees. His confirmation hearing lasted only twenty minutes and the Denver Posts’ headline that day read “Gorsuch looks like shoo-in for court.”

During the 109th Congress 28 individuals were nominated to circuit court appointments. Only 16 of them would be confirmed over two years. Only two, Neil Gorsuch and Bobby Shepherd, would be confirmed by unanimous voice vote.

Of the 28 nominees, 12 had been nominated during the previous Congress, including seven who were unable to earn 60 votes to end filibusters. Clearly Senate Democrats were perfectly willing to oppose and filibuster circuit court appointees, but not one of them even voted against Neil Gorsuch. Additionally, at the end of the 109th Congress nine nominees were returned to President Bush without a confirmation vote.[1]

Judge Neil Gorsuch was a non-controversial nominee in 2006 who received bipartisan support and he deserves the same today as a nominee for the Supreme Court.

[1] Terrence W. Boyle, Thomas M. Hardiman, William J. Haynes II, Peter D. Keisler, Raymond M. Kethledge, Debra A. Livingston, Stephen J. Murphy III, William G. Myers III, N. Randy Smith, & Michael B. Wallace