Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court continues today, but after his opening statement on Monday, Democrats who plan to paint him as a wild-eyed, right-wing extremist really have their work cut out for them (and not just because many of them were among the group that voted unanimously to confirm him for his last judicial appointment.) In his opening statement, Gorsuch came across as such a wise, reasonable, nonpartisan and intelligent fellow (and an all-around great guy: click the link for video of him interrupting his speech to hug his wife of over 20 years and tell her how much he loves her) that he seemed as rare a species in Washington as the giant pandas at the National Zoo.

Democrats will also be stymied by Gorsuch’s speech, in which he outlined his constitutional duties as judging cases based on the law and the Constitution, not acting as some kind of “super-legislator” who rewrites laws from the bench and makes rulings based on his personal opinions (this upsets Democrats because unelected activist judges are the last government power base they have left.) Gorsuch noted that in courts out West where he comes from, the judges listen to each other’s opinions, and that he has ruled with the majority 99% of the time. That will also make it hard for Democrats to paint him as “out-of-the-mainstream,” not that they won’t try. Several already did, but their fruitless attempts to get him to promise that he’ll rule on their pet issues the way they want won’t undermine his credibility the way they hoped. It'll just make them look mentally incapable of comprehending the very simple definition of what a judge does that Gorsuch just patiently laid out for them.

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