I want to make one note about his ruling on path to citizenship, though. Gorsuch did rule that, if the government already got someone on the path to citizenship, it couldn’t pass a law that takes people already on that path off that path. He cited a very simple and foundational tenet of our laws that states that you can’t apply new laws to past situations. In other words, if something is not illegal when you do it, you can’t be charged because the government creates a law especially for you. That’s an incredibly important part of the rule of law. The law is the ultimate decider, and if you can write whatever you want after the “crime” is committed just so you can put anyone you want in jail, then there isn’t really any rule of law anymore. Then you’d be in China.
They have a constitution (the WTO made them do it–great success that was, geez!), they have laws, and they even say everyone has the right to free and fair election and that anyone can run for office. Hmm? Sounds great, yes? Well, they ignore their laws and punish anyone they want and let anyone they want go free. So, they have laws, but they don’t have the rule of law. So, it’s good that Gorsuch at least knows the basics and that he has been faithful to the law even though it’s not clear whether he actually cares about immigrants. So, he’s not as bad as Trump and he gets a couple points for some things he’s done. Also, he abstains a lot, which is good when you have nothing good to say. However, “not as a bad as Trump” isn’t really saying much. In fact, that’s the reason I’m writing this blog.
There’s no call to action in this case. There’s nothing we can do. However, I know three years from now I can go back to this post and my many other posts and longer writings and see what I felt today and throughout this administration so I can turn back the clock in my head and vote for someone better than Obama or for someone that is the best we’ve ever had rather than someone who’s just better than Trump. That’s a low bar.
Please don’t forget that, and please don’t forget where we were before Trump. We can get there again. Whatever he takes away, we can get it all back in a second, but we have to vote in favor of that, which means we have to believe it’s possible, and it really is. We’ll get through this.
You’ve reached the end of Series 16: Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch
Read Full Essay