Four Major Takeaways from President Trump’s Nomination of Justice Gorsuch

By Michael Brown Published on February 3, 2017

Now that the dust has settled in the aftermath of the president’s nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch and the battle lines are being drawn, here are four major takeaways.

1. Trump is Fulfilling Campaign Promises — Fast

First, more than any president in memory, Trump is acting swiftly on his campaign promises, and when he said to the American people the night of the Gorsuch announcement that “I am a man of my word,” you had to say to yourself, “Like him or not, he’s doing exactly what he said he would do.” This is incredibly significant.

In February 2016, in the heat of the Republican primaries, I wrote an article titled “Donald Trump, Vacillator-in-Chief,” starting with this: “If Donald Trump ends up being our next president, I will pray that he will be the greatest president we have ever had and I will fervently hope that I’m absolutely wrong about all of my concerns. Until then (or at least until we decide on the Republican nominee), I will sound the alarm and raise my voice as loudly and clearly as I can.

“Do not be duped by Donald Trump!”

That he did the very thing he promised he would do — and quite swiftly at that, given the turmoil surrounding his first weeks in office — is something to commend.

Among other examples in the article, I stated that Trump “vacillated wildly when asked whether his sister (of pro-partial birth abortion fame) should be nominated as a Supreme Court justice including: yes; no; I was joking; I wasn’t joking; I have no idea what she believes. (This is a partial, very rough summary.) Then add to the mix that in 2000 he said there should be no abortion litmus test for federal judges.”

That he did the very thing he promised he would do — and quite swiftly at that, given the turmoil surrounding his first weeks in office — is something to commend.

I also pointed out that “During Thursday night’s debate, Leon Wolf tweeted this quote from Trump: ‘I have great respect for Justice Scalia,’ followed by, ‘Trump Less than 5 months ago … slammed Scalia for not supporting affirmative action.’”

As the campaign wore on, Trump’s positions became more and more consistent, to the point that he convinced me that he was serious about nominating a pro-life justice in the mold of Scalia.

So, let it sink in. Donald Trump is keeping his word. (And, as noted in the quote from my February article, I’m glad I was proven wrong. My hope now is that our president will weigh his words even more carefully so that what he promises to do is what he should do.)

2. The Great Divide Between Right and Left

Second, the ideological divide in our country between left and right has never been more stark. (The horrifically costly divisions during the time of the Civil War were along other lines.)

The conservative praise for Gorsuch is off the charts, and I could fill this entire article with links to quotes from well-placed individuals (like Senator Ted Cruz) to influential organizations (like the Family Research Council) to conservative websites (like the National Review Online) all praising Gorsuch as someone truly in the mold of Scalia, a real Constitutionalist, a worthy pro-life nominee.

The opposition to Gorsuch simply illustrates the intensity and depth of the chasm between right and left.

The reaction against Gorsuch from the left has been at least as strident — if not far more — than the reaction from the right, and it can truly be called hysterical.

An op-ed headline on USA Today announced, “Time for outrageous obstruction against Gorsuch: Jason Sattler,” while Nancy Pelosi said at a CNN Townhall meeting, “If you breathe air, drink water, eat food, take medicine, or in any other way interact with the courts, this is a very bad decision,” labeling Gorsuch a “very hostile appointment.” Could you make yourself a little clearer, Ms. Minority Leader?

It is true that there is a history of hysterical reactions to Supreme Court picks in the past, but the reactions to Gorsuch are just the very sharp, quite obvious tip of the iceberg of massive social divide. Or did a former aide to President George W. Bush suggest the military overthrow of President Obama, as a former aide to Obama just did to Trump? Or did conservative entertainers call for a violent coup against the newly-installed President Obama, as Sarah Silverman just did to Trump? (And let’s not forget Madonna’s expressed desire to blow up the White House.)

The opposition to Gorsuch simply illustrates the intensity and depth of the chasm between right and left.

3. The Democratic Party Can Not Be Appeased

Third, there will be no appeasing the Democratic Party.

As much as Trump may want to be a team player (I do believe he’d like to be seen as someone who can bridge divides) and as much as he is a master negotiator, there will be no appeasing the current Democrat leadership, which is simply dead-set against him.

Forget about common political courtesies.

Forget about building a consensus.

Right now, there’s as much chance as that happening with the Democrats as there is of Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood being nominated pro-life champion of the year.

Of course, Trump’s style of campaigning and leadership has certainly contributed to the conflict, but the Democratic response to Trump’s pick so far — namely, oppose him at all costs, and use every tactic in the book to do it — should be a strong reminder to Trump that a friendly, let’s meet in the middle attitude will be totally counterproductive right now.

The simple fact that some of the same Democrats who voted for Gorsuch in 2006 are now firmly pledged to vote against him says it all.

4. Pray for the Supreme Court

Fourth, believers who pray regularly for our president should also pray for the members of the Supreme Court, especially for Gorsuch should he be appointed, as seems highly likely.

I say that because nothing can be taken for granted with our justices, and hardly anyone would have imagined that Justice Kennedy, appointed by Ronald Reagan, would one day be the swing vote in redefining marriage (really now, who would have imagined during Reagan’s presidency that the Supreme Court would one day sanction homosexual “marriage”?), nor would many have guessed that Chief Justice Roberts, appointed by George W. Bush, would have been the swing vote in favor of Obamacare.

“A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy.” — Justice Antonin Scalia

It is true that neither Kennedy nor Roberts have the pedigree of Gorsuch, but the significant failings of these two justices should put a cautionary damper on our enthusiasm, at the least, reminding us to pray for Justice Gorsuch to judge righteously if appointed.

The late Justice Scalia famously wrote that “A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy.”

Unfortunately, that is the system of government which we currently have, and with Neil Gorsuch having the real potential to serve our nation well past the year of 2050, an investment of prayer on his behalf makes good sense.

And while we’re at it, we should pray for God’s mercy on our land. If ever we needed it, it is now. (If I sound like a broken record here, it is quite intentional. America needs the mercy of God!)

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