The Leahy Rules for Supreme Court Confirmation Mean Gorsuch Must Be Confirmed

In preparation for the Gorsuch hearing next week, we thought we would mention some of the Democrat Rules for confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice from their most senior member. The Leahy Rule (Part 1) on the President’s power to pick a Supreme Court Justice.

And I think as members of the [Judiciary] Committee, we should respect the mandate the president has earned.  The president had told us in 1980 and 1984 he would appoint judges of his philosophy.  He was given a mandate to do that.  This Committee, if the nominees are otherwise qualified, should respect that. (Senator Patrick Leahy, Meeting of Senate Judiciary Committee 69, Aug. 14, 1986, discussing Justice Scalia.)  

This quote is incredibly relevant as President Trump ran on Gorsuch as a possible nominee.  Thus, he deserves even more respect than President Reagan on that front.   

The Leahy Rule (Part 1) dictates Gorsuch be confirmed as long as he is “otherwise qualified.”  The Leahy Rule (Part 2) dictates that the ABA rating of a nominee is the gold standard.  As current Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley stated recently (emphasis ours):

With less than two weeks to go before he appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee for a hearing on his nomination to the Supreme Court, the American Bar Association on Thursday gave 10th Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch its highest possible rating.

“The ABA’s ringing endorsement is no surprise given Judge Gorsuch’s sterling credentials and his distinguished decade-long record on the Tenth Circuit,” Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in a statement. “Former Chairman [Sen. Patrick] Leahy and [Senate] Minority Leader [Chuck] Schumer have called the ABA’s assessment the ‘gold standard’ in evaluating federal judicial nominations. In light of Judge Gorsuch’s impeccable record, it’s hard to imagine any other result from the ABA’s consideration.”

The Leahy Rules mean that Judge Gorsuch should be promptly and easily confirmed.