With his hearing coming up next month, Judge Neil Gorsuch's initial reception has been good from the left and right. He’s eminently qualified and considered a worthy successor to the late Antonin Scalia. It’s also fulfilling a promise that President Trump made on the campaign trail: to nominate strong, qualified conservative jurists to the bench. On the left, law scholars, even a former solicitor general from the Obama administration, have praised Gorsuch’s credentials and demeanor, saying that he deserves confirmation.
Others, like Yale Law Professor E. Donald Elliott, have noted that it’s not a question of whether Gorsuch will be confirmed—he will—but how much damage will be done to the country first. For even with impeccable credentials, including a Ph.D. from Oxford, some Democrats will probably execute a smear campaign against him. Yet, cutting through the noise, one liberal Supreme Court justice offered some kind words about the nominee.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she’s worked with Gorsuch before and found him to not only to be a very good writer, but someone who is very easy to work with at George Washington University. She was being interviewed for BBC Newsnight:
At her university appearance, Ginsburg had some kind words about Judge Neil Gorsuch, Trump's nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. Ginsburg said she got to know Gorsuch during a trip to England a few years ago to meet with judges there.
"I've worked with him and I think he's very easy to get along with," she said. "He writes very well."
Unlike cabinet nominees that only require simple majorities to move their nominations forward for a confirmation vote, Republicans need eight Democrats to cross over for a cloture motion. It was a question of whether Senate Democrats wanted to fight like hell over this nomination, or wait until the next Supreme Court nominee, who could alter the composition of the Court to a solid conservative swing. It seems as if the Democrats are keeping their powder dry on this one. Nine Senate Democrats have voiced their support to give Gorsuch a hearing and a vote, despite being infuriated with Senate Republicans for blocking Merrick Garland, Obama’s initial pick to fill Scalia’s vacancy. Nevertheless, the “charm offensive” Gorsuch has reportedly deployed has worked—or it could be that he’s a nice guy, who is beyond qualified to become our next Supreme Court justice.