Yesterday, both Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Dan Sullivan voted to end the filibuster of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. You can read about what that means here, here (CN: autoplay), or here, but the reason I’m typing about it right now is that I am so stricken by our Senators’ hypocrisy and poor judgment about what is in Alaska’s best interests.
Frankly, I had a higher opinion of Sen. Murkowski than this.
About Gorsuch, Sen. Murkowski said:
“Gorsuch checks the box on every measure of what I’m looking for in a Supreme Court nominee — intellectual capacity, experience, independence, integrity — he has all of these,” Murkowski said Wednesday.
I can’t help but notice that morality, basic human decency, and common sense don’t appear on this list.
Be prepared to freeze to death
Which brings me to the reason I think Gorsuch is a particularly bad choice for Alaska. You’ve probably already heard about TransAm Trucking v. Administrative Review Board, AKA the “frozen trucker case.” If not, you can read about it in Slate if you are somewhat curious or in CaseText if you’re really, really curious.
Any judge who would say that it was OK to fire an employee for choosing not to freeze to death is, shall we say, a questionable choice for the people of Alaska. From the Guardian, When Neil Gorsuch put corporate interests over a man freezing to death:
“[Gorsuch] went out of his way to be particularly inhumane in ruling against a worker who almost died trying to do the right thing,” Fetter said.
Sen. Murkowski, this is why people don’t like politicians
Which brings me to my disappointment with Sen. Murkowski. In a 2016 situation similar to yesterday’s, she reversed her stance and said she’d block former President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, from getting a vote. From the New York Times 2 Republican Senators Revoke Support for Garland Hearings:
Similarly, a spokeswoman for Ms. Murkowski, Karina Petersen, said the Alaska senator also no longer supported holding hearings, though she will meet with Judge Garland to discuss cases that are important to her state.
Her vote is her own, and she is allowed to change her mind. But yesterday, she had the utter gall to say the following, as quoted by the ADN Murkowski, Sullivan vote for ‘nuclear option’ to advance Gorsuch’s nomination:
“I respect the traditions of the Senate,” Murkowski said, but she decried the filibuster efforts by Democrats against the Supreme Court nominee. [snip]
“I have a longstanding practice of supporting a process that allows every nominee the opportunity for an up or down vote once they have been passed out of committee. That should especially be the case with Supreme Court nominees,” Murkowski said.
Murkowski said she aims for bipartisan consensus, but there was no way to get Gorsuch through the Senate without changing the rules. [Emphasis mine.]
Sen. Murkowski should own her own partisanship instead of blaming Democrats for opposing a flawed candidate. She should own the fact that she greased the skids for a judge who thinks freezing to death at work is OK.
She should own that she belongs to the party that seeks not to govern, but to rule.
[Note that the title of this piece has been edited from Murkowski: Gorsuch is and exceptionally bad choice for Alaska to the current title. Just to be completely clear: the title was not a quote. The colon was a typo that I fixed after hitting Publish. Mary]
Was this interesting? Would you like to read more? Let us know by hitting the Facebook Like button or leaving a comment!