The Government Gorsuch Wants to Undo

from NYTs

At recent Senate hearings to fill the Supreme Court’s open seat, Judge Neil Gorsuch came across as a thoroughly bland and nonthreatening nominee. The idea was to give as little ammunition as possible to opponents when his nomination comes up this week for a vote, one that Senate Democrats may try to upend with a filibuster.

But the reality is that Judge Gorsuch embraces a judicial philosophy that would do nothing less than undermine the structure of modern government — including the rules that keep our water clean, regulate the financial markets and protect workers and consumers. In strongly opposing the administrative state, Judge Gorsuch is in the company of incendiary figures like the White House adviser Steve Bannon, who has called for its “deconstruction.” The Republican-dominated House, too, has passed a bill designed to severely curtail the power of federal agencies.

Businesses have always complained that government regulations increase their costs, and no doubt some regulations are ill-conceived. But a small group of conservative intellectuals have gone much further to argue that the rules that safeguard our welfare and the orderly functioning of the market have been fashioned in a way that’s not constitutionally legitimate. This once-fringe cause of the right asserts, as Judge Gorsuch put it in a speech last year, that the administrative state “poses a grave threat to our values of personal liberty.”

The 80 years of law that are at stake began with the New Deal. President Franklin D. Roosevelt believed that the Great Depression was caused in part by ruinous competition among companies. In 1933, Congress passed the National Industrial Recovery Act, which allowed the president to approve “fair competition” standards for different trades and industries. The next year, Roosevelt approved a code for the poultry industry, which, among other things, set a minimum wage and maximum hours for workers, and hygiene requirements for slaughterhouses. Such basic workplace protections and constraints on the free market are now taken for granted.

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9 Responses to The Government Gorsuch Wants to Undo

  1. Daniel Anglim April 5, 2017 at 7:34 pm #

    Recently, Judge Gorsuch has been nominated to fill the vacant spot in the Supreme Court left by Justice Scalia. Justice Scalia adopted a conservative approach to interpreting the Constitution. Unlike Justices that believe the Constitution should adapt to the current circumstances the country is involved in, Justice Scalia believed that the Constitution should have a strict interpretation and should not be changed, he is called an originalist. Justice Scalia’s legacy has left him as being one of the strictest conservatives to ever serve on the Supreme Court. Although Justice Scalia’s ideologies were far right, they helped balance the Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch’s radical views would make Justice Scalia seem like a moderate. Dean of the School of Law at the University of California, Erwin Chemerinsky, had this to say about Gorsuch, “As a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, he was a consistent vote against reproductive freedom, against plaintiffs in civil rights cases, against criminal defendants, against a separation of church and state.” Judge Gorsuch would be a sure vote against constitutional protection from privacy, reproductive freedom, marriage equality, and perhaps the most alarming protection of women from discrimination under equal protection. His most controversial court decision was on the case Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. v. Sebelius (2013). He ruled that federal law does not require for-profit corporations to provided contraception coverage as part of their employment health insurance plan. Judge Gorsuch has the potential to set America back decades in the progress it has made to secure rights for the marginalized. Democrats should look to filibuster the appointee of Judge Gorsuch, President Trump needs to nominate a judge with moderate ideologies so that the balance of the Court is held.
    So far, the presidency of Donald Trump has been extremely chaotic. Unfortunately, America has made a turn for the worse. With so many global and internal problems, like President Trump’s ban on immigration, it is crucial that America has a Supreme Court that can make checks and balances on the actions of President Trump. Problems like life tenure for Justices, Congress’s precedent of waiting to act on nominations of Judges to fill vacant roles in the Supreme Court, and Judge Garland’s potential appointment to the Supreme Court, poses many obstacles that need to be addressed immediately. Officials need to realize the impact these problems will have on future generations, and fixed what is broken. The judicial branch of the constitution is perhaps the most influential out of the three for changing the law of the land, through their interpretation of the constitution. Over the years, significant court cases like Roe vs. Wade (1973) and Brown v. Board of Education (1954) have changed American History. The ability for the judicial branch to change current law through the use of judicial review, gives the Justices tremendous power. It is important that this branch of government remain balanced so court cases are properly ruled on. The creators of the Constitution never imagined the power the judicial branch would gain through the precedent of judicial review that is why it is important to amend the status of tenure that all justices receive once they are anointed. Also, during the time of former President Obama’s presidency, Congress decided not to act on his nomination of Judge Garland for nine months so that Garland could not be made a Justice. This is a very dangerous precedent Congress has set, and a law must be put into place to stop Congress from continuing this trend.

  2. Jonathan Cavallone April 5, 2017 at 7:39 pm #

    39. February 13, 2016 marks the day that Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court passed away. More than a year later his position remains empty, as politicians struggle to come to an agreement of who to appoint. The appointment of a Supreme Court Justice is not to be taken lightly, as the Justices have the ability to life tenure. Many Justices serve longer than twenty-five years like Justice Scalia, who served twenty-nine years and four months. The process of appointing a Supreme Court Justice encompasses numerous steps defined in the Constitution of the United States of America. Outlined in Article 2, Section II of the Constitution, the current President of the United States possesses the power to nominate any judge of their choice to fulfill a vacancy in the Supreme Court. The Senate then has to consent to the nomination and order a hearing where the nominee will answer questions before the Senate Judiciary Committee. After the hearing, The Judiciary Committee votes on the nominee and majority vote will send the decision to the United States Senate. Therefore, the President can select a judge for nomination; the rest of the power is in the hands of the Senate. After the death of Justice Scalia, President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to fill his position. However, the Senate delayed his nomination for over nine months, making this the longest Supreme Court vacancy ever. The Senate believed that the replacement should be chosen by the proceeding President, now officially Donald Trump. President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch bringing the rise of many questions.
    Now that the time has come for Neil Gorsuch to have a hearing, the Democrats are giving the Republicans a taste of their own medicine. The Democrats have used a filibuster to prevent conservative judge Neil Gorsuch from filing Antonin Scalia’s position. This article is clearly written in a biased view against Judge Neil Gorsuch. This article makes it sound like the nomination of Neil Gorsuch would basically end the world. Gorsuch would bring deregulation which can lead to a series of negative impacts on the economy and lead to a financial crisis. However, the people that are going to cause a financial crisis is the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve has recently released plans to start liquidating the trillions of dollars’ worth of bonds they purchased during the financial crisis in 2008. The Federal Reserve’s pre crisis balance sheet consisted of about 900 billion dollars’ worth of bonds and has since increased to 4.5 trillion dollars’ worth today. The Fed is now planning on dumping this back into the markets which could it cause long-term interest rates to rise and undermine the expansion. It will be interesting to see when a judge finally fills the position of Judge Neil Gorsuch. The government needs to get their stuff together and start getting organized.

  3. Benjamin Jaros April 7, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

    In light of the fact that Gorsuch was confirmed earlier today, this editorial is very pertinent in how Gorsuch will a play a role in the new Supreme Court. The article seems to strongly be endorsing an opposition to the nomination of Gorsuch on the grounds that he will be “deconstructing” the administrative state that has been in place since the new deal.

    I find it very intriguing when strict constitutionalists are confronted with the reality of the current American federal government. Do I think that the original writers of the constitution could have imagined all the current things the government oversees?
    No. I do not think that as the writers of the constitution sat in the state house of Philadelphia that they were thinking, “I bet this government will fund an expedition to land on the moon. Or that health care is a right.” The very idea of landing on the moon was inconceivable to them, yet the federal government through NASA did fund a successful operation to land on the moon. Further, the health care practices of those day, were primitive by our standards, and many commoners of the time did not have any access to health care of any kind beyond the care that they could provide for each other in the frontiers and in the wilderness. Yet, today, a very active and lively discussion exists around making health care accessible for all of those in our society, whether they are wealthy or poor. Now, I am not dismissing the way our fore-fathers lived as a necessarily bad time to be alive, but it is at the least, a very different society.
    Due to the nature of a changing society, it is likely to assume that some changes to the constitution would be necessary in order to keep up. One of these changes is the administrative state. It evolved in an era when the US government was playing a larger role in global affairs and in the economic affairs of her citizens. Therefore, it is disconcerting that Gorsuch might support a total dismantling of the administrative state. Though, I find it unlikely as the article speculates that he holds a view a full “deconstruction.” It is more likely that he supports deconstructing the elements that he disagrees with and keeping, if not building up, the elements that he agrees with. So, I think this is an example of the media attempting to create dissension to his confirmation. He may not like the administrative state, but I am certain there are elements he does agree with using the administrative state to change, cough…cough Hobby Lobby. Anyways, even if he does fully desire a dismantling of the administrative state, he would be joining only one other justice who believes in doing so. It would take three more to make that a political reality. I do not think three justices are leaving in the next three years. Maybe one, or even two, but not three. Therefore, I am not as moved by this scare-tactic call to action as the author would likely like me to be.

  4. Nicolas F Carchio April 7, 2017 at 4:13 pm #

    Recent President Donald Trump has nominated Supreme Court Justice Nominee Neil Gorsuch, shortly after he was elected to the presidency. Gorsuch maintains the ideals of the Conservative Republican Party, and are in line with the proceedings and arguments that have been made by the president himself. After the death of Antoine Scalia in February of 2016, there has been a vacant spot in the court for 14 months. This means that the Supreme Court has not been working to full capacity in fourteen months. Let that sink in. This is truly a problem. Gorsuch’s views align with that of the deceased Antoine Scalia, who was a strict originalist interpreter of the Constitution. This view is unpopular now as it aims to interpret the Constitution in the way that the original founding fathers intended. This is an inaccurate way to interpret the Constitution because the founding fathers could have never predicted things such as the invention of the Internet, the invention of Cars or cell phones. This is why it is essential that our courts are able to adapt to the ever-changing times to stay informed and current with the workings of the current world. Gorsuch and his ideals simply do not support such an idea.

    The majority of Americans are sick of seeing an inactive Supreme Court; it means that no major cases will be decided and that there will be further stagnation in the government. The idea is that the views Gorsuch and the ultra conservatives are outdated and are losing popularity as the years go on. The majority of people now are looking for a more adapted view on the Constitution. People want the Constitution to be a living document, and thus it will be able to go with the times and adapt to whatever is coming its way. An example would be the idea of online privacy. As privacy becomes an even larger deal as time goes on, online data security is important to protect. The Constitution does not mention anything about online security, as there was never even a though of the Internet in 1776. However, more modern court justices believe that it is essential to always be able to adapt to the times to make more accurate rulings that apply the thoughts and concepts of today. It is important that our Supreme Court be at full capacity and that our justices do not stay in the old mindset and are able to look towards the future. This is why Neil Gorsuch is simply not the right candidate, and many people will be content on waiting a few more years rather than 30 years.

    For the future of the Supreme Court, this will mean several things. First, if there is a filibuster, then Gorsuch will not be able to be nominated, most likely causing yet another government shutdown. The Supreme Court will also remain at an ideological balance with eight members. The final thing that could happen would be that Gorsuch is put on the bench, placing a large, ultra-Conservative justice on the bench for many years due to his relatively young age. Overall, there is a need for another Supreme Court Justice, but Neil Gorsuch simply is not the man for the job.

  5. Julian Manzano April 7, 2017 at 6:20 pm #

    This topic reminds me of the first TID we did in class. The United States of America has encountered a situation that has changed the country, possibly for the worst. President Trump was elected and has divided the country. President Trump has nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill this seat. President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch at the age of 49, which is the youngest nominee to the SCOTUS since the 1991 nomination of Clarence Thomas, who is still a Judge on the court, who was 43 years old. Gorsuch has recently been confirmed by the Senate after a filibuster was used by the Democrats. This was bypassed by Republicans who then received a majority vote to confirm Gorsuch into the seat. I, personally, do not agree with Trump’s nomination of Gorsuch as this now makes the Supreme Court more conservative. This was expected though as Trump is a conservative. It will be interesting to see how he will perform as a justice.
    Trump’s administration has been in shambles since he has stepped in office. There has been controversy around everything he does, and this nomination is another example of this. He nominated someone who wants to undermine modern government, just like most Republican politicians. Just like Steve Bannon, Gorsuch has become a puppet for Trump, and they will just push his agenda forward, and this would be dangerous for the Supreme Court. The filibuster too created a lot of controversy and it was obvious that Democrats were not supportive of Gorsuch, and rightfully so. After reading in this article on what he wants to undo, I too do not support him.
    Republicans, recently, have now been overturning the country and have been trying to get rid of everything Obama did the last 8 years. Everything that the government has done recently under the Trump administration has been disastrous. With the immigration law that failed miserably to the new health care bill that did not even make it to the vote. Trump has honestly made Republicans look even worse these past 4 months. He has failed in almost everything he has tried to do because he does not think it through and most of what he wants to do is just plain irrational. Like the recent crisis with Syria where he tweeted that Obama should not do anything and then when he gets into office he does the complete opposite. In my opinion, I would not support a man who was nominated by an irrational, irresponsible person like President Trump.
    I do not think Gorsuch is qualified for the job, as what he wants to do is basically undermine modern government. Him being in the Supreme Court makes the SCOUTS favor Conservative which, to me, is also dangerous to this country. Hopefully he does not end up like another one of Trump’s experiments, which usually end up failing miserably.

  6. Frankie Lisa April 7, 2017 at 7:39 pm #

    Neil Gorsuch was recently appointed to the Supreme Court to replace the deceased Antonin Scalia. Almost everyone expected Gorsuch to face opposition from the media, and from congress. First he was chosen after the Republicans used a filibuster to delay the nomination of Merick Garland after he was nominated by Barack Obama. Neil Gorsuch is also faced with the stigma of being a well qualified government official, who was nominated by Donald Trump. When George W Bush nominated Gorsuch to the federal court, he faced almost no opposition. However, now many people are looking for a legitimate reason to criticize Neil Gorsuch. That reason is his origininalist interpretation of the constitution. According to the New York Times, Neil Gorsuch’s interpretation and philosophy undermines the structure of modern government. He along with some of President Trump’s advisors want more deregulation and deconstruction of government. Many businesses complain that government regulations increase their costs and decrease their production. Last year Judge Gorsuch stated that the administrative state “poses a grave threat to our values of personal liberty.” I partially agree with Gorsuch’s views, too much government restrictions can be harmful to the economy. However, I think Gorsuch’s views take deregulation too far. One of the reasons the American economy is able to function so efficiently is because of how well regulated it is. Regulatory agencies such as the Securities and Exchanges Commission and the Food and Drug Administration prevent many businesses from taking advantage of consumers and the government. The Trump administration is also attempting to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency. Cutting or dismantling regulatory agencies like this puts the citizens of the United States at risk. Another reason we need regulatory agencies is to make determinations regarding ambiguities in the law. Making an amendment to a law can take weeks or even months, however, a regulatory agency can make a determination regarding an ambiguity instantly. This ability saves everyone a lot of time and headaches. Judge Gorsuch is skeptical that congress can use broadly written laws in order to give more power to regulatory agencies.
    The last president who attempted massive deregulation was Ronald Reagan. The Reagan administration’s ability to cut back on regulations eventually ran out of steam due to lack of public support. The author of the article writes “It turned out that people often like regulation, because it keeps the air and water clean, the workplace safe, and the financial system in working order.” Two of the biggest financial crisis the United States has ever had came as a result of deregulation: the savings and loans crisis of the nineteen eighties, and financial crisis which occurred a decade ago.
    The decades during and soon after the industrial revolution, businesses were allowed to operate as they please without any intervention from the government. These growing businesses almost always exploited its employees and customers. This social experiment resulted in the creation of regulatory agencies and it shows why we need them today.

  7. Daniel Alvarez April 7, 2017 at 8:36 pm #

    By definition administrative agencies are created by the federal Constitution, the U.S. Congress, state legislatures, and local lawmaking bodies to manage crises, redress serious social problems, or oversee complex matters of governmental concern beyond the expertise of legislators. Some of these include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The EPA’s mission is to ensure that all Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work and federal laws protecting human health and the environment are enforced fairly and effectively. These are just some of the mission statements posted on their website. Similarly, in a statement made by the FDA, it is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. These agencies by definition have expertise beyond legislators in their fields and therefore have more knowledge on the pertain subject matter. They are more suited to handle these types of affairs and regulations. They help farmers, keep national parks open, assist Americans overseas, and even led the response to 9/11. In addition, they regulate safety of food, drugs, airplanes, and nuclear power plants. The expertise in the diverse and vast fields of study ensures that businesses are running properly among other things and I agree with this article in saying that they are indispensable.
    Judge Neil Gorsuch claims that these administrative agencies “pose a grave threat to our values of personal liberty.” Justices on the same side as Gorsuch have previous argued that it is an “unconstitutional delegation by congress of legislative power.” In a prominent administrative agency decision, Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, the court ruled that when congress uses ambiguous language the courts must defer to an agency’s interpretation. In my opinion, (and 6 other Justices) who better to interpret the law then by an agency, created by congress and monitored by judicial and executive branches of government, with expertise in the particular subject matter? Moreover, Judge Gorsuch is more concerned with the authority of agencies to write specific regulations and protections. These regulations save lives, save the economy, save the environment. Gorsuch wants those statues of the agencies to be reviewed and re-written by the less-expertized congressmen.
    One of the main benefactors of this wipe-out of administrative agencies are businesses who have complained that the federal government regulates too much. Businesses would then be much fiercer in their pursuit of profit. Hypothetically, they would be able to execute much more environmentally harmful practices, workers could potentially see a decrease in wages as there could be a lot more outsourcing and so forth. Regulations are necessary in this economy. We saw what happened in the 1980’s when the deregulation of the financial system allowed for banks to pursue monetary gains by delivering more and unsafe loans. It caused the housing bubble and the perhaps the Great Recession of 2008. I believe, along with many other prominent economists, like Paul Krugman, that regulations add much more of a benefit the economy as a whole. While adding benefit to the economy, Administrative Agencies act on behalf of the American people a lot of the time. I see no substantial benefit from Judge Gorsuch’s belief other than benefiting the top businessmen and CEO’s who have already seen an increase in income by 660% (Top .1% of income earners) since the 1980’s, when deregulation began.

  8. Filip Bizek April 10, 2017 at 1:05 pm #

    In the recent presidential election, the stakes could not have been higher. As of right now, the Republicans and the Democrats are heading completely in an opposite direction. It almost seems like the centrists of both parties became a minority. This shift was clearly visible while Donald Trump was battling Hillary Clinton for the seat in the “White House.” The Democratic section of the population shifted further left and the Republican section of the population shifted all the way to the right. As we all know, the conservative wing won the election in a landslide victory with Donald Trump getting the biggest prize. However, the statistics do not paint a fair picture of what actually happened. Although the Republicans did win through the electoral process, the Democrats won the popular vote. The symbolism behind it is the simple fact that the progressive movement fueled by the millennials is gaining momentum slowly pushing America towards acceptation of socialistic principles rather than free capitalism.

    Unfortunately speaking, many Americans have to face the brutal truth; you cannot repeat the past. What was functioning properly before may prove to be obsolete in the future. That is just the way our society functions; we do not stay in one place. With each new generation, the shift in demand and supply is that much more visible. Therefore, Donald Trump’s slogan, “Make America Great Again” is built on a pure lie. His presidency attempts to propel us back to the past, which no longer does justice to the American people. For example, the Republican Party is still stuck on coal while solar is proving to be cheaper, efficient, and tremendous supplier of jobs. Furthermore, the technological tsunamis is extremely close in reaching its destination. Soon enough, every job sector will be facing dramatic changes due to introduction of robotics and artificial intelligence outperforming basic human skills. In other words, there will be less jobs on the market with the competition exponentially growing. If this will be the case, we cannot afford to rely on the conservative principles. The top 1% will finally have to share its wealth with the rest of the people and the government will have to provide basic human necessities such as free education and free healthcare. Only then, our nation will be to escape the wrath of technological tsunami eliminating everything on the horizon.

    Nonetheless, lets get to the core of this article and discuss our future Supreme Court Justice, Judge Neil Gorsuch. He has an “originalist” mindset and often people refer to him as a clone of the Justice Anthony Scalia. As depicted by the New York Times, clearly a liberal newspaper, the left is not satisfied with him as a nominee after studiously examining his judicial history. Just like the majority of Democrats, I also differ with Neil Gorsuch on many issues. However, the article completely missed the point on a vital factor playing a role in his nomination. Just because we may not agree with his conservative ideologies, it does not mean he is not a good choice. I think an effective Supreme Court is a mixture of essentially liberal and conservative viewpoints. Since the citizens of our country do not belong to a one ideological tribe, Supreme Court has to be the same in order to maintain a proper balance.

    Another important issue mentioned in the article is the filibuster rule. Currently speaking, Democrats are using the filibuster to prevent Judge Neil Gorsuch from becoming a Supreme Court Justice. This is a direct retribution for what Republicans did with President Obama’s rightful pick. Merrick Garland was chosen by the former president to fill the vacancy left by the death of Anthony Scalia. However, Merrick Garland’s nomination process was blocked by the Republican obstructionism leading to a big turmoil on the Capitol Hill. Democrats are using similar methods right now against Neil Gorsuch with full intent to hit back at the Republicans. Although the Republican Party started this mess, it does not give the right to Democrats to finish it. This is exactly what helped Donald Trump get elected, our congress is sending a message to everyone paying attention that in fact the current political system is truly broken.

  9. Austin O'Reilly April 21, 2017 at 7:48 pm #

    This article is very pertinent in how Gorsuch will a play a role in the new Supreme Court. The article seems to strongly opposed to the nomination of Gorsuch. I find it very intriguing when strict constitutionalists, like Gorsuch is faced with accusations accusing him of threatening people’s values and even personal liberty. This article definitely is against Gorsuch and his views. There is a lot of speculation concerning Donald J trump’s pick for Supreme Court nominee judge Neil Gorsuch. Some of these speculation include, who is this person? How will he rule, and will he have a substantial effect on the Supreme Court rulings from here on out? To begin, Neil Gorsuch is known for his involvement with the outdoors and is even considered a westerner. Some say that he is an outdoorsman and that the court can use some geographical diversity. In addition to that, Judge Gorsuch was appointed to the 10th circuit court, in Denver, by President George W. Bush- is an originalist, meaning he will try to interpret the constitution consistently with the understanding of those who drafted and adopted it. This decision makes him out to be generally, but not uniformly conservative as a result. Furthermore, by reading his rulings and dissents, it can be inferred that Judge Gorsuch holds staunch values to be true to intentions of the founding fathers of the Constitution, strictly construes statutes and believes in religious freedom. Some may think that he will have a substantial effect with regards to very important ruling in the future. Some concerning questions that judge Gorsuch’s nomination has brought forth is if he will he help overturn Roe v. Wade. Judge Gorsuch, although young has a vast amount of experience in all areas of law and human affairs. If you read his rulings, he could bring more diversity to reflect our ever changing world and perspectives. Another point, to take into consideration, when going about this question is the fact that Judge Gorsuch and Justice Scalia have very similar views and opinions. The misconception here is that the views that Gorsuch have are the ultra conservatives and outdated viws. Even though these views are losing popularity as the years go on. The majority of people now are looking for a more adapted view on the Constitution. People want the Constitution to be a living document, and thus it will be able to go with the times and adapt to whatever is coming its way. The people who wrote our constitution could not have predicted the U.S landing on the moon, or artificial intelligence. The constitution is a remarkable document, that needs people like Gorsuch to change it into a more modern document more suitable for this ever-changing society.

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