“Judge Gorsuch is a judge’s judge,” Sasse says. “Too often, both parties talk about the Supreme Court as if it’s a political institution. Too often, both parties pretend there are Republican seats and Democratic seats on the court. Too often, we embrace the notion that courts are a special kind of super-legislature, making new laws safely beyond the reach of voters here at home.”
“Gorsuch knows that there aren’t any red robes for Repubicans or blue robes for Democrats on the Supreme Court,” the senator continues. “Consider what he said: “(D)onning a robe doesn’t make me any smarter. . . . It serves as a reminder of what’s expected of us: what Burke called the ‘cold neutrality of an impartial judge.’ It serves, too, as a reminder of the relatively modest station we’re meant to occupy in a democratic society.””
Sasse also refutes the idea that empathy is an essential characteristic that a judge must possess, adding that a judge is “like a referee,” and is supposed to “call the game fairly.”
“Judges are guided not by empathy or other emotions but by the law,” Sasse says.
“President Barack Obama famously said that empathy is an essential ingredient for a judge to make just decisions. That’s a belief that was expressed by many of my Democratic colleagues on the Judiciary Committee.”
“That’s well-meant but dangerous. When you stand before the court, your bank account doesn’t matter. Your race doesn’t matter. Your gender doesn’t matter. Two things matter: the facts and the law.”
“Empathy is the role of legislators — folks who know the needs of their communities and can be hired and fired by the people they serve — not Supreme Court justices.”
Sasse also says that Gorsuch’s confirmation is a “victory for limited government.”
“Our system of limited government depends on this proper understanding of the role of the judiciary. The Constitution vests the judiciary with enormous power: It’s an independent branch of government, meant to check both Congress and the president.”
“While I expect that the judge, like any other person, has his own policy preferences and desired outcomes, they cannot be reasonably discerned from his work on the bench. He will faithfully embody the spirit of the black robe,” the senator concludes.