Two separate lines of attack on Judge Gorsuch by liberals may be backfiring. The first may be today’s attack on Gorsuch in The New York Times:
The New York Times published a front-page story Wednesday on President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and his ties to a "secretive billionaire," despite never devoting equal coverage on a Democratic senator who had even more direct ties to the same tycoon.
The Times reports that Gorsuch represented Anschutz in several federal court cases while working for a private law firm in Washington, D.C. starting in 2004. In 2006, Anschutz sent a letter to the Bush administration recommending Gorsuch–who was then in the Justice Department–for an open federal judgeship. Gorsuch also co-owns a log cabin retreat with two Anschutz executives.
But Gorsuch was never a direct employee of Anschutz or a key executive in his empire, unlike Democratic Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet. From 1997 to 2003, Bennet served as managing director of Anschutz Investment Co.
The Times may be concerned over Gorsuch's "web of ties" to Anschutz, but The Denver Post noted that "executives and family members associated with Anschutz Co., Anschutz Group or Anschutz Investments donated more to Bennet… than to any other federal candidate."
If Anshutz is a bad person to have contacts with, then Senator Bennet of Colorado is the one in trouble, not Judge Gorsuch. Further Gorsuch, unlike Bennet, has recused himself from matters involving Anschutz. As David French writes:
Gorsuch, by the way, disclosed his ties to Anschutz and recused himself from cases involving his former clients, as ethical judges do.
Americans should take comfort from the fact that Gorsuch is so squeaky clean that this is a news story. Here’s a news flash: when lawyers do their jobs well, their clients tend to become their friends. I make no claim to be an attorney of Gorsuch’s caliber, but I have my own “web” of valued friendships and ties to former clients. This is completely normal in the practice of law, and lawyers without former clients as friends should worry about their own competence.
Senator Bennet may have something to worry about over Anschutz, but any way you look at it, it is a positive for Gorsuch.
In a separate attack, a liberal group is going after Gorsuch on campaign finance matter. Once again, the attack has the opposite of the intended effect. As David Keating writes:
Democrats and progressives are losing their minds over President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. One left-wing advocacy group released a video titled "3 Reasons to Fear Judge Gorsuch." Number one? According to them, if Gorsuch is on the Supreme Court, "our elections could be completely handed over to the powerful and the wealthy."
That ludicrous statement refers to Gorsuch's concurring opinion in Riddle v. Hickenlooper, a campaign finance case. Riddle challenged Colorado's contribution limit law as discriminatory.
Was it ever! It allowed major party candidates to raise twice as much money as minor party candidates and independents. Progressives love to say "money isn't speech," but Riddle wasn't about that. It was about equality.
The Tenth Circuit unanimously struck down the contribution limit scheme as a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause. A Republican candidate doesn't get to raise more money from individual supporters than a Green Party candidate. The law must treat everyone the same.
So in other words, Judge Gorsuch ruled for the far-left, small parties such as the Green Party over the establishment parties such as Republicans and Democrats. Gorsuch ruled for the little guy and against the powerful establishment parties.
Democrats attacks on Judge Gorsuch are backfiring and helping to make the case for his confirmation, even among liberals.