Thirty years ago, Democrats gave the Supreme Court confirmation process a bad name. When they killed the nomination of President Ronald Reagan’s first nominee to fill a vacancy, a new term was invented: “To Bork.” The term meant to kill a nomination through character assassination, slander, and ideological attacks regardless of the competence of the person who was being considered.
Today Judge Neil Gorsuch’s supporters are warning that the Democrats should not “Bork” President Trump’s nominee. Given Gorsuch’s stellar professional record, his competence does not seem to be in question. At least from the leaked remarks about his meeting with Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, he appears to have a healthy unease with President Trump’s aggressive statements about the judiciary.
But there are many reasons for Democrats to consider using their power to filibuster his nomination. After Republicans refused to confirm former President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland—leaving many Democrats to feel like this is a “stolen seat”—the president could have sent a consensus nominee.