The lesson we must take from this history is that the Constitution must be renewed with each successive generation of Americans. It is now our turn. Let us use this Constitution Week to rededicate ourselves to what President Lincoln called "the better angels of our nature," to the principles that make our nation's founding charter the envy of the world, and to the hard work of defending it.
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Articles & Commentary
For one who promised to “take seriously . . . the appearance of impartiality,” it is time for Gorsuch to return to those words. Speaking at the Trump International Hotel does not foster the appearance of impartiality. It does the opposite. Gorsuch should reflect soberly on his decision to speak at his patron’s property, which lies at the center of not one but three cases that could come before him in the months ahead. Upon such reflection, Gorsuch should withdraw from speaking at any of Trump’s properties and thereby begin to match the volume of his actions as the court’s newest justice with those of his words as Trump’s nominee.
If Trump or his team are found likely to have committed a crime or crimes, or other bad acts, then the grand jury will issue one or more indictments or a critical report. In that case, the American people will have the Founding Fathers to thank for vesting regular, ordinary citizens in our system of government with a strong and resilient mechanism to hold even the most powerful person in our country to account to our laws and the Constitution.
The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are chiseled into the marble frieze above the main entrance to the Supreme Court building. But the Term that ended this week revealed a heavy thumb on the scales of justice for corporate interests and against workers, consumers, and average Americans.
The bottom line, as court after court has recognized, is that religious intolerance masquerading as security is offensive to the principles on which the Founders established this nation, and toward which we as a country must constantly strive. Sessions has promised to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court the administration’s defeat in the 4th Circuit, but it is past time for Trump to stop the masquerade. He should jettison his unconstitutional Muslim travel ban.
In the Trump era -- with a Senate confirmation process now subject to a simple majority vote, thanks to McConnell and Senate Republicans -- it is impossible to imagine any stronger or more able steward of Justice Kennedy's legacy than Kennedy himself. Despite all the pressure and pointed rumors of his retirement, he surely realizes this.
The Constitution’s promise of religious freedom is neither an accident of history nor a footnote. Trump’s anti-Muslim travel and refugee ban defies this founding wisdom.
Over and over again, We the People have bent the arc of our Constitution toward progress. What we still don’t know is whether Judge Gorsuch understands, and is committed enough to applying, that fact were he to be confirmed to the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court Justices are the final bulwark against unchecked power and violations of the Constitution. At this flashpoint in American history, the Senate — including Senators McCaskill and Blunt — must strictly measure Donald Trump and Neil Gorsuch against Hamilton’s and Madison’s founding ideals, as well as the hard-won rights protected by the text, history, and structure of the whole Constitution.
Do litmus tests help explain a Supreme Court nominee’s judicial philosophy or do they offend the idea of an independent judiciary? As President Donald Trump prepares to speak to Congress tonight, that question casts a shadow over whatever he might say about his nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch.