Commentary: Why Texans should support Judge Neil Gorsuch

Eight. That’s the number of justices who have served on the Supreme Court for almost an entire year. Thankfully, President Donald Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to carry on Justice Antonin Scalia’s legacy and finally fill the ninth seat on our nation’s highest court.

Gorsuch’s nomination not only fulfills President Trump’s promise to put a mainstream jurist on the bench but it also reaffirms his commitment to honor the American people who entrusted him with this momentous decision.

With impeccable academic credentials and an equally impressive resume to match, the Colorado native clearly has the experience needed to become a Supreme Court justice.

Gorsuch graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University in three years and cum laude from Harvard Law School. He received a doctorate from Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar. As a clerk for Judge David Sentelle and Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy, Judge Gorsuch began his career working for some of our country’s greatest jurists.

In 2006, President George Bush nominated Gorsuch to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1oth Circuit, where he was confirmed by voice vote without objection. Even Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer supported Judge Gorsuch’s nomination, along with 11 other current Senate Democrats who were in office at the time. His nomination then earned praise from Senate Democrats, who called him “a very talented, gifted judge,” “very ethical,” “very smart,” and “thoughtful and fair-minded.”

If Senate Democrats supported Gorsuch in 2006, why do they now seem hell-bent on obstructing his confirmation process, just as they have done with Trump’s cabinet nominees? We are no longer in an election year, and the American people decided that Trump shall nominate the next Supreme Court justice.

Texans elected Trump to nominate a Supreme Court Justice of the highest integrity to champion our nation’s Constitution — and he did. Now we must show our support for Gorsuch by seeing that U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz know Texans are on their side as they fight the Democrat obstruction.

Senate Democrats cannot be allowed to put politics before the will of the people. Our country has waited long enough. It’s time to have nine justices on the Supreme Court — and Gorsuch is the right mainstream conservative for the job.

Not only is Gorsuch universally respected for his fairness and integrity, even liberal commentator Rachel Maddow has called him a relatively “mainstream choice.” Gorsuch is a firm believer that jurists should adhere to the founders’ original intent of the Constitution and that judges should base their decisions on the law and Constitution, not on their own policy preferences.

Gorsuch’s judicial record reflects his commitment to upholding the law, defending religious liberty for all faiths, limited government and the proper role of the courts. He also understands the role of the states granted by the Constitution and has faithfully applied the law in criminal matters.

Millions of Americans — many of them Texans — cast their vote on Nov. 8 based solely on the future direction of the Supreme Court. Trump has now honored their wishes — and it is time for the Senate do the same.

Mechler is chairman of the Republican Party of Texas.

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