The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
The office of Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) passed along this item, which I thought would be very interesting for our readers, as it tells us something about how Republicans are continuing to argue about judicial appointments; naturally, if a Democratic senator wants to pass along something similar from the other side, I'd love to publish it as well:
In Washington, it can sometimes be difficult to focus on what counts. Today's information environment is increasingly atomized and persistently polarized. Almost all will inevitably focus on who is up, and who is down, in the endless cycle of partisan gamesmanship. But none should forget that what matters, at the end of the day, is policy. And the first year of new Republican government has delivered plenty of that.
Here in the Senate, despite fits and starts, we are moving the ball forward. Notwithstanding often vicious treatment by the media and the constant obstruction of the Democrats here in Congress, President Trump is managing his domestic policy agenda like a true leader does: he names his agenda, he picks his team, and he executes. The results speak for themselves.
We are closing in on a historic tax reform package, which itself includes an important first step on healthcare reform. Regulatory burdens are falling, as the administrative state faces its first substantial pushback in decades. From labor to environmental to fiscal and monetary policy, from education to justice issues, there's substantial progress on nearly every front. Only a year into the new administration, we are making good on the pledge for a historic change in Washington.
But, of course, there is perhaps no greater legacy that a President leaves behind than the judicial appointments he makes. President Trump's choices there will echo for generations. Further, there was perhaps no more distinguishing promise that then-candidate Trump made to the American people than the restoration of the judiciary. And thus, it is particularly gratifying to recognize that in no area have promises made more fully ripened into promises kept.
Neil Gorsuch was a superb choice for the Supreme Court. At a historic juncture for our courts, he stands poised to seize the mantle left by Justice Antonin Scalia, and carry the cause of originalism and textualism forward for a new generation. But Justice Gorsuch was only the beginning. From the circuits courts to the district courts, judicial nominations, across the board, have been outstanding. The results will be felt for decades to come.
From the outset, President Trump has brought to this process the same acumen and drive that made him so successful in business. First, he has clearly named his agenda: a judiciary recommitted to the impartial administration of justice and refocused on the rule of law. Second, he has wisely picked his team: White House Counsel Don McGahn and his staff have been, in a word, exceptional. And third, the President is executing flawlessly: as a former Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, I can say confidently that we've never seen such a high-quality stable of nominees, and nominated at such a rapid pace.
As is not much of a secret in Washington these days, Republicans tend to disagree among themselves quite a bit. Through the effort to deliver on our promises to the American people, there will be differences of opinion on the best policy means to reach shared policy goals. But one thing that continues to unify the Conference here in the Senate, and Republicans across the country, is the conviction that an independent, impartial judiciary is simply too important to lose. And that is why, whatever our differences on other issues, conservatives across the board heartily approve of the way this administration has handled judicial nominations. I'll continue to work with my colleagues here in the Senate Judiciary Committee, as well as Leader McConnell, to confirm these judges. As the rest of our agenda gains steam, judicial selection will remain the vanguard.
Through the 2016 campaign, the President promised to pull the best people onto his team, and to deliver real results for the American people. On judicial nominations, that's precisely what he is doing. By installing and empowering such a capable White House Counsel's office, he has signaled the seriousness with which he takes this effort. And by keeping up the pace of nominations, he has assured that this enormous opportunity for improvement in the judiciary will not go to waste. The product of the administration's efforts, and the good that can still be done, will carve a defining legacy of which we can all be proud.