Amid all the weird decrees of Czar Trump, one of the worst things he did was nominate Scalia II for the Supreme Court.
The nominee, Neil Gorsuch, a federal appeals court judge in Denver, Col., sounds like a decent sort. But his confirmation would return the court to its 5-4 reactionaryism under the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon summed up Gorsuch perfectly: “He represents a breathtaking retreat from the notion that Americans have fundamental constitutional rights.”
“If Gorsuch is confirmed the court will once again have a majority of justices appointed by Republican presidents as is has had for nearly half a century,” the New York Times editorialized. “That spells big trouble for public-sector labor unions, women’s access to contraception and environmental regulations.
The view of Trump–who is even further right than most reactionaries–is that Gorsuch “has outstanding legal skills, a brilliant mind and an extraordinary resume.”
Gorsuch, 49, is widely respected for his reliably conservative voting record—by Republicans. However, he could be confirmed because the Republicans have a majority of senators.
Perhaps all you need to know about Gorsuch is that he was named to the federal bench by backward-looking President G.W. Bush in 2006.
Like Scalia, Gorsuch is pro-business and an outdated “originalist.” But in one area he is even more conservative than Scalia, calling for “an end to the deference courts traditionally show to administrative agencies.”
The Times editorial concludes: “Supreme Court nominations are among the most important decisions a president makes. Gorsuch could sit on the court for three decades.”
The court’s swing voter, Justice Anthony Kennedy, holds the balance of power on “the Kennedy Court.” On economic issues like Obamacare, he votes with the conservatives. On social issues like abortion and gay marriage, he votes with the liberals.
But Kennedy is 80. Will he serve on the Supreme Court until the age of 91 as Oliver Wendell Holmes did? Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of four liberals on the court, is 83 and frail.
Another question: will the Democrats use the “nuclear option” (the filibuster) requiring 60 votes for the confirmation of Judge Gorsuch?
In any case, the dire possibility is this: Trump may have as many as two more appointees to the Supreme Court.
COIN TOSS MARS SUPER BOWL
The New England Patriots won Super Bowl 51, defeating the Atlanta Falcons in overtime, 34-28. But the thrilling conclusion was unfairly decided by a toss of the coin. What?
Yes, because NFL rules stupidly decide the winner of the Super Bowl by the first team to score a touchdown. The loser of the coin toss can lose the game as it did in Houston Feb. 5 The Falcons never got a chance on offense in overtime.
Clearly, the NFL should change the overtime rule to allow each team one chance on offense.
(Speaking of stupidity: criticizing Brady because he is a friend of President Trump. It’s no more a matter of concern than if he was a friend of former President Obama.)
Besides, Atlanta should not have lost the game as sensational as quarterback Tom Brady is. The Falcons not only squandered a 25-point lead but managed the clock badly with five minutes left in the game.
They had the ball on the New England 22 with a lead of 28-20. They should have eaten up time with long running plays than booted an easy field goal by one of the best kickers in the NFL. Instead, Atlanta coach Dan Quinn will have to live the rest of life with the blunder.
LADY GAGA, SUPER STAR
She dropped from the roof of Houston’s NRG Stadium to open her halftime show, delivering a 13-minute acrobatic and athletic show full of her hit songs.
She sang snippets of “God Bless America” and “This Land Is Your Land.” Red and blue lights flashed as guide wires lowered her to the stage.
On stage, she commanded a troupe of dancers and musicians while props breathed fire and audience members swung lights in synchronization.
She wore a metallic space suit most of the evening but emerged once in a bare midriff wearing football-like shoulder pads. Another time her costume featured oblong sunglasses.
Thus, the incomparable Lady Gaga as described by David Bauder of the Associated Press.
The show was immensely profitable for Dame Gaga. She sold 150,000 digital albums and songs, 23,000 album downloads and 125,000 song downloads. All this swag was a 1,000 percent increase over the day before, Nielson reported.
The superstar singer sang one of her favorite hits, “Born This Way,” but turned it into a gay rights anthem. This fit her stated theme: “I believe in inclusion. I believe in the spirt of equality. And I believe that the heart of this country is compassion and kindness.”
How right she is on all counts. She belongs on the Supreme Court.
Jake Highton is an emeritus journalism professor from the University of Nevada, Reno. (email@example.com)