Liberals should celebrate the Gorsuch nomination
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President Trump on Tuesday selected 10th Circuit Court Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the late Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat on the Supreme Court, sparking fits of rage from left-wingers. But, upon closer examination, there are important reasons liberals should celebrate the selection.

There’s no hiding leftist politicians’ and activists’ anger over the Gorsuch nomination.

Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenWATCH: Dems say Trump will look like he has something to hide if he avoids Muller interview House funding bill includes bipartisan Medicare reforms Trump approves Indiana Medicaid work requirements MORE (D-Ore.) said of Trump’s selection on Twitter, “Gorsuch harkens back to the days when politicians restricted a people’s rights on a whim. That is a very dangerous view to our liberty.”

Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.) similarly accused Gorsuch of being a radical pick, writing on Twitter, “Gorsuch will jeopardize women, collective bargaining, the environment, campaign finance reform, LGBT rights, voter access, & more.”

Ian Millhiser, the justice editor at ThinkProgress.org, ominously declared of the Gorsuch decision, “There will no doubt be much celebration at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and at Koch Industries if Gorsuch is confirmed. Women, workers, voters, and the Earth itself will have less to celebrate.”

These utterly ridiculous claims are hardly surprising. If you’re a supporter of massive government expansion, centralized power, and imposing progressive social values on the entire country, Trump’s first Supreme Court selection is likely the worst news you’ve heard in at least a decade.

It’s true Gorsuch is unquestionably a devoted constitutional textualist and originalist in the mold of Scalia. Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSasse statement: Trump nominee who spread conspiracy theories has a ‘tinfoil hat’ Coalition of 44 groups calls for passage of drug pricing bill For the sake of our democracy, politicians must stop bickering MORE (R-Texas), one of the most conservative politicians in Washington, D.C., called the pick “an absolute home run” in an interview with CNN. Erick Erickson, a longtime outspoken conservative and critic of Trump, wrote in an article posted on his political commentary site, The Resurgent, “Judge Gorsuch is the one nominee who matches Antonin Scalia’s intellectual pedigree and will unite all the factions within the Republican Party. … It is rock solid.”

These radically divergent views between those on the left and constitutionalists may seem to be another wedge keeping the country from coming together, but nothing could be further from the truth.

All the available evidence suggests Gorsuch’s view on the Constitution is one that elevates the power and authority of local and state governments to largely determine their own affairs. Yes, Gorsuch believes in limiting the power of the federal government, but he supports local communities’ right to govern in a way that best reflects the will of that community—so long as an individual’s constitutional rights are not being violated.

Rather than view Gorsuch as a tyrannical conservative activist who wants to impose on every part of the nation his personal political views, liberals should recognize Gorsuch has thus far been a crusader for individual rights, which means he would never support a federal law that deprives people of the liberty guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. He’s also been an ardent supporter of the unique powers granted to the states under the 10th Amendment, which means he believes all states, including mostly liberal states, should have the power to largely chart their own course on those issues not specifically listed as responsibilities of the federal government in the Constitution.

Or, put simply, Gorsuch believes the Constitution allows those of you who believe in liberalism to have the government you desire—at the state level.

Traditionally, liberals have insisted on imposing rules, laws, regulations, and social views across the nation, but as the election of Trump proves, such a position is not sustainable. The left has, in just a few short weeks, taken to the streets on multiple occasions to express their outrage and concern about decisions made by the Trump administration, including his executive orders repealing thousands of policies put into place by the Obama administration. They are genuinely afraid and concerned Trump’s policies will impose on them values and views they don’t believe. That’s a fair concern to have. It’s one conservatives have had since the country was founded!

Liberals need to learn, however, that they can’t have it both ways, on the one hand demanding the federal government have absolute power and then on the other being outraged, shocked, and horrified when someone ascends to power with whom they don’t agree.

As history as unquestionably proven, if you want a kingdom, you’re going to get a king, and not every king is going to be one you agree with.

If leftists want to continue trying to force and manipulate the whole country to adopt their views on every issue, they’ll never have the policies or diversity they say they want, and eventually, the unity of the nation may be at risk. But if liberals can learn to adopt and even passionately defend a view upholding the power of individual states to largely govern on their own, they can have many of the policies they have long desired and communities that better reflect their own values.

That’s the genius of the American federalist model, and it’s the reason liberals should be happy Trump appointed Neil Gorsuch.

Justin Haskins (jhaskins@heartland.org) is executive editor of The Heartland Institute and editor-in-chief of the New Revere Daily Press.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.