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March 21, 2017 01:21 PM UTC

Gorsuch's Bizarre Unforced Error on Partisan Judges

  • by: Colorado Pols

Seth Masket, political science professor at the University of Denver, calls out U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch for a fairly surprising misstatement during confirmation hearings:

Masket is correct: the states of Alabama, Illinois, Louisiana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia all hold partisan elections to their state supreme courts. In addition, 20 states hold partisan elections for trial court judges. Several other states have a “hybrid” system of partial partisan elections for the judiciary.

So, what’s the deal with this? We don’t think it rises to the level of perjury, being an apparently innocent misstatement. But Gorsuch is being sold as one of the nation’s greatest legal minds, and there’s just no excuse for him not knowing full well that many parts of America indeed have “Republican judges” and “Democratic judges.”

This is not the minor leagues, folks. We are talking about a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court for a 49-year-old judge. Gorsuch’s platitudes about judicial partisan independence may sound good, but they are factually not correct.

And that doesn’t sit well with us.


17 thoughts on “Gorsuch’s Bizarre Unforced Error on Partisan Judges

  1. Even states without "official" partisan elections for the judiciary have campaigns with voters easily able to discern which candidates affiliate (or at least 'resonate') with which party.

  2. Bullshit.  Gorsuch is a federal judge nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court and in this context he is correct to the point of being banal.  And even a state judge elected on a party label is expected to represent all the people.   If this is the best the Gorsuch haters can do, I think it's time for him to start pricing condos in Georgetown.

    1. Bullshit back.

      Gorsuch surely knows the extent and effect of having Partisan Judges elected at the state level and, whether his banality was supposed to apply to the sacrosanct aura of the Federal Judge, the petty partisanship of judges at every level. That is something he should take seriously and by making this bland statement has shown he intends to ignore it.

      And, the Rank Partisanship that resulted in his nomination is another part of the politics that he surely knows has tainted his nomination and will taint every one of his opinions from here on out.

      And let me praise Al Franken, who is roasting Gorsuch over a spit right now, for being an awesome partisan and someone who could teach our Dear Sen. Mikey Bennet a thing or two about being a Senator, a Democrat, and a Statesman.

    1. He's going to be confirmed. When you were cheering the defeat of moderate  Democrats last November (Bye Bye Evan Bayh), you made this nominee's confirmation a foregone conclusion. Get over it.

        1. Evan Bayh sux a**. Why is it that most moderate Dems are most moderate when it comes to corporations?

          And why is it that Democrats must always move to the (ever shifting) middle while Republicans can move further right ad infinitum? 

          1. Yeah, wouldn't it be awful if a couple sens. Like Bayh gave us a majority and we actually had to govern instead of just mentally masturbate all day.  The horror.  The horror.




            1. That would deny some lefties their status of victim hood which they crave. Better to be pure and lose than have to compromise and win.

              On the one hand, I say those of us in the center should stand aside and let them have their moment in 2020 by running the Sanders/Franken ticket. It'll be 1972 or 1984 all over again. Get it out of their system. Then the rebuilding can begin for 2024.

              On the other hand, we will have to live with the consequences of the mess that creates.

              Look at Britain today. The lunatic fringe left took over the Labor Party and they're now losing seats they've held for 80 years in by-elections.

              1. It'll be 1972 or 1984 all over again 


                You were wrong about Hillary and just can't get over it, huh?

                Are you feeling guilty for supporting Sec. Clinton and handing the presidency to Trump?

                Are you going to support Hillary again when she throws her hat back in the ring for 2020?

                BTW…it isn’t victimhood we crave….it is single payer health care

                1. Naw, we should all gather around a 79 year old socialist in 2020.  He'll carry four or five states and won't we be pure.  But whatever we do , don't give women a chance.  

                  1. Seriously, V?

                    You would seriously support Hillary again?

                    And if you don't like giving Bernie his chance, without the manipulation by the Clinton campaign, what you got? Hillary again?

                    I will be happy to support a woman if a viable female candidate emerges, but at this point, there is still a huge Sanders movement. I don't see anyone else with even a fraction of his support.

                    1. I cant believe even you would be so blind as to rally behind a 79 year old Socialist.  I guess the reason you fight so fiercely against women candidates is that you only love Father time.  Do the math.  He is 75.  79 if elected.  87 if he serves two terms?  J. Alfred Prufrock would be better.

                      I don't have a 2020 fave yet, but the White House is not a hospice.

  3. Context is important.

    It is true that in some state court systems there are party tickets for judges.  Gorsuch serves on the federal bench and Congress is conducting a job interview for a federal position.  In context Gorsuch is right.  In the larger context, he misspoke.  

    Who cares? 

    Did you want him to say he is a Republican judge and will only support Republican causes?

    He is bright and sophisticated and if this is all you have, say hi to Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch.

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