Democrats picking on the wrong man

Democrats are picking the wrong guy — the wrong target — if they choose to go all out in opposition to Judge Neil Gorsuch — the President’s pick for an opening on the Supreme Court of the United States.

The Dems would be both smart and classy if they backed Mr. Gorsuch instead.

First, there is the politics of the matter: Mr. Trump picked a serious person, not an ideologue or a hack. Mr. Gorsuch makes an excellent impression and is likely to make an even better one in confirmation hearings. Five Democratic senators have already indicated that they are inclined to at least give Mr. Gorsuch a vote. That’s closing in on 60 votes. The Democrats will lose this fight.

Then there is substance. The Democrats should lose this fight. Judge Gorsuch is qualified, indeed, according to many who have studied his work closely, highly qualified. They say he brilliant; a giant of legal reasoning.

Judge Gorsuch is one of President Trump’s best picks.

Meanwhile, the President has nominated dubious, marginally qualified people to head the Labor and Energy departments. Those nominations would be more reasonable targets, politically and substantively.

Of course, Democrats feel they have a right to block President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court. Senate Republicans, in a shameless display of crass power and partisanship, declared they would not consider any person President Barack Obama nominated to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, after his untimely death a year ago.

In March, Mr. Obama put forward Judge Merrick Garland, a moderate jurist with a reputation for careful reasoning, and Republicans refused to even hold hearings, forget a vote on the floor of the Senate. They ran out the clock — until Election Day.

That was an abuse of power, and Democrats are, understandably, itching for retribution. Judge Garland was wronged. There is no question about it.

But retribution gets us nowhere. We can’t have government by payback — one party abusing nominees and the system and then the other.

Judge Gorsuch is the wrong man to target. He will not be stopped and should not be. Democrats will only be trivializing themselves by trying.

— The Toledo Blade