By David Codrea
“President Eisenhower … said his two biggest mistakes were sitting on the Supreme Court: Justices Earl Warren and William Brennan. Both were Republicans,” the piece explains. “Justice David Souter, appointed by George H.W. Bush and Harry Blackmun appointed by President Nixon, turned out to be liberals.”
The assessment goes on to list “liberal signs” for Judge Neil Gorsuch, a prominent one being his membership in St. John’s Episcopal Church in Boulder, which “has embraced very liberal positions on a variety of issues [and] ‘does a lot of social justice and advocacy.’”
No fair bring that up? After all, we don’t know if Gorsuch is a true-believing member.
But even if he is, his religious beliefs should be off-limits. We don’t know that they would sway his decisions.
Besides, desperate to establish themselves to the press as champions of tolerance, all leading Republicans have said, in no uncertain terms, that religion shouldn’t matter in high public office. They loudly and publicly distanced themselves from then-candidate Ben Carson after he said he does not believe Islam is consistent with the Constitution, and that he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.”
Hogwash. If you’d like to see how consistently they’d hold to that principle, ask them if they’d give the same answer if a candidate practiced another ancient and established religion, one that is recognized by the government, one with practitioners around the world, and one that involves itself in vigorous legal and outreach actions centered around all kinds of Constitutional issues, including, as a plus for those who value “progressive” causes, women's reproductive rights and same sex marriages.
I'm talking, of course, about Satanism. And while that may seem an absurd jump (even though it is wholly logically consistent, especially when we’re talking matters of spiritual belief), those who believe in the destructiveness of that – and of radical Islam – to our Constitutional Republic, might also find Episcopal activism on “social justice” troubling.
It's not really about religion at all, is it?
Of specific interest to this readership is the church’s position on guns. They urge their members to be activists, and to tell Congress:
“I am a constituent and an Episcopalian, and I am calling to urge [name of member of Congress here] to support policies that will change the culture of violence in our country. We need legislation that limits sales of military-style weapons and high-capacity magazines, requires effective background checks for all gun purchases, provides for better access to mental health services, and directs attention to gun trafficking.”
Then we have the church’s position on immigration and refugees:
The Episcopal Church is committed to welcoming the stranger and advocating for a humane and proportional immigration system. For more than a century The Episcopal Church has been engaged in the ministry of welcoming immigrants and refugees, walking with them as they begin their new lives in our communities and advocating for immigration policies that protect families from separation, offer meaningful access to citizenship, and respect the dignity of every human being.
And they have millions of reasons for culturally terraforming the nation and ensuring an eventual unchallengeable Democrat/anti-gun majority in the legislatures and the courts:
Add to this the Episcopal positions on Obamacare and on wealth redistributing “global warming/climate change/environmental justice.” We’ll not find much in agreement with the reasons conservatives in general and gun owners in particular supported, voted for, and have been consistently defending Donald Trump against all comers.
It could be there’s no cause for concern here. Many of us come from families with religious heritages, and we view it more like a history or tradition, and not all that relevant to our professional and political decision-making.
That could very well be the case here. I hope it is. But since Gorsuch may be holding “legal” recognition of your freedom in his hands, wouldn’t you like to know?
Doesn’t President Trump think it’s in his – and our – interests to get a better handle on the guy he wants to entrust his legacy to in the courts? It certainly makes it fair to ask who advised him that Gorsuch was the right man for the job, and if that’s counsel he’ll continue to seek. It also makes it fair to ask if, as a businessman, Trump would be inclined to hire a key executive when he doesn’t know if the prospect will support or undermine his business plan, and who will play coy if asked in an interview.
Did he make his billions buying pigs in pokes, and sight unseen?
And that brings us to the specific Second Amendment questions I’d like to see Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans (beholden to gun owners all) ask Judge Gorsuch in his confirmation hearing. While we can’t expect him to comment on specifics of a case that may come before him, there’s no reason why he can’t weigh in on how well he understands the issue. Go ahead and read the questions at that link, and see if there are any that “We the People” don’t deserve answers to.
But for whatever reason, the Big Three gun groups, the National Rifle Association, the Second Amendment Foundation and even Gun Owners of America (for what I found to be a very uncompelling reason) have all come out swinging for Gorsuch based on no more of a given justification than he thinks “the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own firearms and may not be infringed lightly.”
“Lightly.” What the hell does that even mean, and how do you square it with “shall not be infringed”?
Also apparently uninterested: The afore-mentioned Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee. I’ve urged all of them to ask Judge Gorsuch the questions, but I’m real easy to ignore. Unless they hear from significant numbers, they have no motivation to even acknowledge, let alone comply with my request. And I sent my concerns to The White House, not that the staffer rushed it to the Oval Office.
Throughout, I have received one non-supportive comment, not actually opposed to vetting Gorsuch so much as resigned that there’s no point. My correspondent surmised he’s “as good as we are going to get.”
How does he know?
He also asked if I remembered Earl Warren.
“Of course,” I replied. “He was appointed in a recess and confirmed months later by voice vote, with everyone accepting meaningless and equivocal weasel words on what a great ‘conservative’ he'd be. Why do you think I want Judiciary to nail this guy down on specifics? Assuming you followed the link and read my Gorsuch piece, why wouldn't you want to see the questions asked and answered?”
That question goes to you as well, along with a few more.
Did we dodge the Hillary bullet only to welcome a wolf into the fold? We’re gonna have to live with this guy and how he rules, many of us for the rest of our lives. How would it hurt to get a better feel for his convictions – and to pass on him if he looks to be bad news? Even if he does think daring to question a judge’s conduct is “disheartening and demoralizing” (Note that last interpretation is disputed. Maybe that should be another line of confirmation inquiry.)
The next time a gun group asks you for help to get Gorsuch confirmed, ask them why. If they tell you he’ll be good for gun owners, ask them how they know.
If you’re good with what they’ve told you to date, do nothing.
If you think we’re supposed to finally be doing things differently and draining the damn swamp, and if you believe we’ve been given a last chance of sorts to actually make some sort of difference with the rejection of Hillary, then please add your voice to mine.
- “Freedom Demands Gorsuch Confirmation be more than Just a Rubber Stamp.”
- Church Conference Repeats Tired Talking Points to Advance Citizen Disarmament
- Trusting Republicans on SCOTUS Nominees Has Resulted in Big ‘Progressive’ Wins
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.