In today’s confirmation hearings for Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) made some head scratching comments. In prepared remarks, Feinstein said that she found “this originalist judicial philosophy to be really troubling,”and asserted that she believes “the American Constitution is a living document intended to evolve as our country evolves.”
These comments make conservatives cringe and for good reason. It’s the same philosophy that has given us terrible judicial rulings over the years. Rulings should be made on law, not based on politics, emotion, or ideology. The framers of the Constitution put together a system where future decisions are not meant be made on the whims of the day.
Jusge Gorsuch firmly believes in the rule of law, as his idol Antonin Scalia did. To lose sight of this fact is deeply troubling.
Here is the whole quote from Senator Feinstein:
“[Judge Gorsuch] has also stated that he believes they should look to the original public meaning of the Constitution, when they decide what a provision of the Constitution means. This is personal. But I find this originalist judicial philosophy to be really troubling. In essence, it means the judges and courts should evaluate our constitutional rights and privileges as they were understood in 1789. However, to do so would not only ignore the intent of the framers that the Constitution would be a framework on which to build, but it severely limit the genius of what our Constitution upholds.
“I firmly believe the American Constitution is a living document intended to evolve as our country evolves. In 1789, the population of the United States was under 4 million. Today, we’re at 325 million and growing. At the time of our founding, African-Americans were enslaved. It was not so long after women had been burned at the stake for witchcraft. And the idea of an automobile, let alone the Internet was unfathomable. In fact, if we were to dogmatically adhere to originalist interpretations, then we would still have segregated schools and bans on interracial marriage. Women wouldn’t be entitled to equal protection under the law and government description against LGBT Americans would be permitted.
“So I am concerned when I hear that Judge Gorsuch is an originalist and a strict constructionist. Suffice it to say, and I conclude, the issues we are examining today are consequential. There is no appointment that is more pivotal to the court than this one. This has a real-world impact on all of us. Who sits on the Supreme Court should not simply evaluate legalistic theories and Latin phrases in isolation. They must understand the court’s decision have real-world consequences for men, women and children across our nation. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.”