"He Doesn't Bring Anything New"

Typically this phrase is a criticism, as it is intended here.
[Justice Kagan] is about as tough as they come, and I am not sure [Justice Gorsuch is] as tough—or dare I say it, maybe not as smart. I always thought he was very smart, but he has a tin ear somehow, and he doesn’t seem to bring anything new to the conversation.
'The conversation,' in this case, is conferences on how to decide Supreme Court cases. What does Justice Gorsuch bring instead? NPR reinforces the point: nothing new.
NPR’s legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg took aim at Gorsuch. First in her crosshairs was his habit of frequently citing the Constitution. She objected to Gorsuch bringing things back to first principles at oral argument. He often prefaces his questions by saying, “Let’s look at what the Constitution says about this … It’s always a good place to start.”
Funny thing, that's exactly what many of us wanted a Justice to do. The last thing I want in a Supreme Court Justice is someone who 'brings something new to the conversation.' I want a Justice who will doggedly return to first principles rooted in the Constitution's original meaning.

That is the proper role of a Justice. If we want to 'bring something new to the conversation' about what the Constitution does or should mean, that's fine: that's the job of the legislature, the states, or an Article V convention. It is most emphatically not the job of a Supreme Court Justice.


MikeD said...

Yes, how very DROLL of a Supreme Court Justice to actually care what the Constitution says.

Seriously, I am beginning to WANT there to be a national divorce at this point.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Note the reference to the tin ear, as well as the complaint about "nothing new," and relating those to intelligence*. Further evidence for my contention that liberalism is more about social understanding than intellect. Gorsuch is not one of the cool kids. He just doesn't get it.

*As opposed to, say, actual intelligence.

E Hines said...

Some folks might want to study up on Article I, Section 1, of the Constitution.

Eric Hines

Texan99 said...

What's so awful is that he doesn't bring any unconstitutional to the conversation.

Gringo said...

This comes to us courtesy of NPR's Nina Totenberg. Which also shows one more reason why I stopped listening to NPR decades ago.