Opinion

In this age of polarization, it's best to judge Neil Gorsuch based on his background, not his views

To the editor: I am surprised by Eric J. Segall’s contradictions. (“Make Neil Gorsuch actually answer questions in his Supreme Court confirmation hearings,” Opinion, March 13)

He pleads for “more forthcoming” responses by Supreme Court nominees, and he notes that one who disagrees with Brown vs. Board of Education would not be confirmed today. He then refers to the Heller gun-rights decision as being one that “some of us” believe should be disavowed as a legal principle today.

In other words, as long as the nominee “agrees” with the questioner, he or she will be confirmed.

This is precisely the difficulty any nominee faces. Congress is unable to agree on almost anything, and yet a nominee is expected to hold the views “shared by the vast majority of Americans.” We just had an election in which half the voting public appear unable to accept the views of the other half.

Our country was founded on the idea that we shall be allowed to disagree with one another. Yet we base our choices on personal prejudices rather than objective analysis and, by the way, my analysis is always objective, whereas yours is suspect.

How else can we choose our jurists but by looking almost entirely at their education and experience?

R. William Schoettler, Studio City

The writer is a retired Los Angeles County Superior Court judge.

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To the editor: There is only one question the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee need to ask federal appeals court Judge Neil Gorsuch to determine how he will approach his job on the Supreme Court:

Does he agree with an interpretation of the Constitution by which the advice and consent clause of Article II, Section 2, was ignored for nearly a year in order to prevent a sitting president from having his own nominee heard for a seat on the Supreme Court?

If he answers forthrightly that this was a regrettable and unprecedented disregard for the plain language of the Constitution, we will know that we have a person of honesty and integrity for the court. If he defends the tactic or avoids answering the question, we will know we have a right-wing shill for the seat.

Ron Ellsworth, La Mesa

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To the editor: It will make no difference how Gorsuch answers any questions at his confirmation hearing, as he will be confirmed no matter what he says.

As he is “Scalia lite” in his ideology, he will get the vote of every Republican and will need only 51 votes instead of the 60 required for ending debate, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will invoke the nuclear option with regard to Supreme Court nominations.

Anyone who believes otherwise has not been paying attention.

Peter Katz, Sherman Oaks

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