Don’t Focus on Gorsuch, Focus on Trump

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Don’t Focus on Gorsuch, Focus on Trump

President Donald Trump and Neil Gorsuch smile as Trump nominated Gorsuch to be an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court at the White House in Washington, Jan. 31, 2017.  (Photo: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Don’t get caught up in the predictable brawl over Neil Gorsuch’s credentials or his ideology. That normalizes the Trump presidency.

Instead, there should be no vote on Gorsuch’s nomination until Trump’s legitimacy as a president is established. 

Which means the Senate intelligence committee and F.B.I. must first conclude that Russian operatives were not responsible for Trump’s electoral victory, Trump must reveal his taxes, and he must put his assets into a blind trust.

Mitch McConnell wouldn’t even permit a vote on Obama’s pick, Merrick Garland, on the ground that Obama’s term would end in 10 months. Here, we have a president whose term itself may not be legitimate. 

A Supreme Court pick is the most important nomination a president can make, affecting how the Constitution and laws are interpreted, and potentially affecting generations to come. There should be no cloud over the legitimacy of the president who makes such a pick.

Democrats and courageous Republicans must not produce the 60 vote quorum needed to overcome a filibuster. When and if this strategy no longer works, it is imperative that senators continue to vote against consent orders to proceed with the nomination – until and unless Trump’s legitimacy is established.

Trump is the issue here, as well as the integrity of our democracy.

Robert Reich

Robert Reich

Robert Reich, one of the nation’s leading experts on work and the economy, is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. Time Magazine has named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including his latest best-seller, Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future; The Work of Nations; Locked in the Cabinet; Supercapitalism; and his newest, Beyond Outrage. His syndicated columns, television appearances, and public radio commentaries reach millions of people each week. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, and Chairman of the citizen’s group Common Cause. His widely-read blog can be found at www.robertreich.org.

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