It’s WE THE PEOPLE…. NOT WE the REPUBLICANS…
On Monday, America will have a new Supreme Court Member. His decisions will affect all Americans. This Supreme Court Member was nominated by a Republican and approved by Republicans. If you remember, a nominee for the Supreme Court was nominated by a Democrat more than a year ago and Republicans saw fit not to act on the nomination. Thus placing a Republican who thinks like a Republican and will make decisions like a Republican. Republicans saw fit to break the rules and not follow their Constitutional responsibilities to advise and consent the President in the selection of a Supreme Court nominee. Fifty percent or more of Americans oppose this Supreme Court Selection and his placement on the Supreme Court. Republicans in the selection didn’t make a choice that reflects the will of America or even a majority of Americans. Republicans selected a man who will do the bidding of Republicans.
I see an America that is headed down a path of two Americas. Or perhaps one America with half forced to accept the will of the other. This can only lead to a divided America with two governments. Republicans are so far from what I and millions of other Americans accept as simple common decency that someone like Gorsuch on the Supreme Court is as unacceptable as Joseph McCarthy or Adolf Hitler or the current Republican Governor of Alabama.
Gorsuch is an originalist who believes that the “constitution should be interpreted based on the framers’ belief at the time the constitution was written”. (PBS Newshour, pbs.com Ellis Kim) For me, this begs the question of whether or not the framers would use the same words if writing the constitution today. For instance, “keep and bear arms”, the framers wrote these words when the single shot musket was the weapon of the day. We don’t require militias (a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency) today and a shooter today using today’s weapons can fire off more rounds in seconds than a shooter at the time the framers wrote their words could do in an hour. Something the framers could never have envisioned. I use this example to illustrate that people, yes even a person smart enough to sit on the Supreme Court, should make decisions based on the events of the twenty first century and not the 18th century. This is the same kind of antiquated thinking someone like Gorsuch uses to guide his personal life. The Bible, old testament and new testament written thousands of years ago. There is nothing wrong with this perspective, but you can’t expect or should you expect everyone to follow your perspective and do the same. Is it the responsibility of the Supreme Court to interpret the constitution as originally written in 1785 or through the lens of 2017? If Gorsuch is an originalist and believes that the constitution should be interpreted from a 1785 position then he will agree with millions of Americans that the words “right to bear Arms” were written when the weapon the constitution protects was a single shot musket.
One of the influences on the constitution are the words of John Locke. John Locke believed that the rights of the common person, all people really, are intrinsic- even the rights of the wealthy. A product of nature, or God if you are Mr. Gorsuch. The purpose of government is to help ALL people achieve equal natural rights. These natural rights are not dependent on who your parents are; how much money you have, your skin color, or whether you are a Republican who accepts the tenets of the Bible as a holy guide to wisdom. Human nature, according to Locke is characterized by reason and tolerance. I hope John Locke is accurate and Mr. Gorsuch uses his “God” given “reason and tolerance” in his position as an American Supreme to make well reasoned decisions guided by tolerance.
The appointment of a Supreme Court Justice is life time and can have an influence on America for many years. Gorsuch is only 49 and if he lives to a ripe old age, will influence the lives of ALL Americans for the foreseeable future. So, if we are to live in the 18th century, it is a good idea to appreciate exactly what we as a country are in for.
I hope this new Supreme captures the essence of John Locke like the framers of the constitution did in 1785… maybe Mr. Gorsuch has the capacity to make reasonable and rational decisions, understands the fundamental criteria for a sound and legitimate government and will like Locke defend the principle that men are by nature free and equal against claims that God has made all people naturally subject to wealthy oligarchs.