(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Focus on Trump, not Gorsuch: His presidency should be legitimized before vote on his SCOTUS pick

Getting caught up in Neil Gorsuch's credentials or his ideology only normalizes the Trump presidency


Robert Reich
February 6, 2017 5:30AM (UTC)
This originally appeared on Robert Reich's blog.

Don’t get caught up in the predictable brawl over Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick 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.

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

Mitch McConnell wouldn’t even permit a vote on former President Barack 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 B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies. He served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written 15 books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good." He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." He's also co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism."

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