Neil Gorsuch: A Judge Who Knows His Limits

If you’re inclined to think that everything happens for a reason – that fate, serendipity, or providence are determining factors in our world – then you might see the forces of the divine at work right now in our American political landscape. The eyes of the country are on the courts as we wait to see if President Trump’s executive order will be allowed to stand. Simultaneously, we have the pending confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

It doesn’t take a whole lot of imagination to see a connective thread.

But even if you think coincidence is just coincidence, we can be grateful when happenstance comes together to shine a light in the darkness. Either way, Americans have a front-row seat to a major judicial showdown with the executive branch, and the debate over the proper role of each.

Legal scholars who aren’t completely blinded by their own liberal biases cannot seriously argue that Trump’s order is illegal or unconstitutional. As the federal government argued before the courts, the order is fully justified by 8 U.S.C. ยง 1182(f):

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.

President Trump has made such a determination. That’s the end of the ballgame.

There’s nothing in that statute that says the president’s authority can be undermined depending on how many Americans were killed by immigrants from this class or that class. Yet, Judge James Robart used that factor, in part, to rule against the order. Never mind that Robart lacks access to classified information available to President Trump. He simply disagrees with the order, and thus took it upon himself to overrule the executive branch. That’s not his place. He is not the backup president.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is deliberating on Trump’s order (as of Wednesday morning), but that court’s history of far-left decisions does not bode well for the White House…or our national security.

At such a time of dismay, the nomination of a judge like Neil Gorsuch is almost too perfect. This is a man who has built his entire legal career on a foundation of originalism and textualism. In other words, Judge Gorsuch – like the late Antonin Scalia – understands that the court’s role is not to interpret the Constitution according to one’s own biases and beliefs. It’s to uphold the law of the land, regardless of how one might feel about that law.

Even if every single man, woman, and child in America disagreed with Trump’s travel ban, it wouldn’t change the legality of the order. Since that fact appears to be lost on many judicial activists, it’s more important than ever to make sure the last seat on the Supreme Court goes to a man who gets it.

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