President Trump's superb nominee to serve on the United States Supreme Court is on Capitol Hill today for his Senate confirmation hearings. Barring a dramatic development, this political plot-line seems unlikely to produce an unexpected or dramatic outcome, for reasons we'll discuss below. But with the Gorsuch confirmation process as a backdrop, feast your eyes on these pathetic numbers from a fresh scientific survey of American voters, commissioned by C-SPAN (via Allahpundit, who notes that this result isn't even historically weak, by comparison):
Respondents were asked to name just one of the nine justices sitting on the US Supreme Court, and fully 57 percent came up empty. It's not as though the Court hasn't factored into any major news stories in recent years; between the Citizens United, same-sex marriage, Hobby Lobby, and Obamacare cases, there have been some blockbuster rulings in very recent memory. Surely most people could call to mind Chief Justice Roberts or the 'Notorious RBG,' right? Nope, with young people (a majority of whom in a separate poll see Donald Trump as an 'illegitimate' president) leading the ignorant pack. Sigh. Unsurprisingly, most Americans also cannot name the Court's next member:
For what it's worth, millions of citizens may not have much familiarity with Neil Gorsuch, but by golly, they want to see him confirmed. Incidentally, why am I so bullish about Gorsuch's path to Senate approval? Because the Democrats don't appear to have any remotely unified strategy to stop him, and even one member who's made something of a name for herself reflectively voting 'no' on nearly every Trump pick has openly conceded that he's going to make it through -- much to the chagrin of some left-wing activists. If you want even more evidence that he's heavily favored to be a shoo-in, look no further than who agreed to introduce him:
Former Obama acting solicitor general Neal Katyal will be introducing Neil Gorsuch at his confirmation hearing. That's sending a big message— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) March 18, 2017
A well-known Obama alumnus, in addition to both of Colorado's US Senators, including Democrat Michael Bennet. In spite of Gorsuch's broad support, the Democrats set the table for the week by referring to the estimable jurist as just another 'villain' in Trump's pack:
Trump's Supreme Court nominee could soon join the rest of the villainous team Trump has chosen to surround himself with. pic.twitter.com/dwSWjnSZP3— The Democrats (@TheDemocrats) March 19, 2017
Gorsuch was so terribly villainous that he was confirmed unanimously to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2006, earning affirmative votes from Democrats like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer. In any case, he looks like a virtual lock to be elevated to the Supreme Court, and it seems as though Democrats may wait for the next vacancy to wage an all-out campaign of obstructionism. That proposition could be put to the test as early as this summer. Republicans must be prepared for that contingency.