Durbin, D-Ill., also said Gorsuch indicated support for criminal justice reform — a Durbin priority — and disavowed a 2005 National Review article he’d written criticizing Democrats and liberals.
“He said it was probably one of the biggest mistakes he ever made,” Durbin recalled Thursday. “It’s a terrible article. He wishes it would just disappear.”
Here is a snippet from the article:
There’s no doubt that constitutional lawsuits have secured critical civil-rights victories, with the desegregation cases culminating in Brown v. Board of Education topping the list. But rather than use the judiciary for extraordinary cases, von Drehle recognizes that American liberals have become addicted to the courtroom, relying on judges and lawyers rather than elected leaders and the ballot box, as the primary means of effecting their social agenda on everything from gay marriage to assisted suicide to the use of vouchers for private-school education. This overweening addiction to the courtroom as the place to debate social policy is bad for the country and bad for the judiciary. In the legislative arena, especially when the country is closely divided, compromises tend to be the rule the day. But when judges rule this or that policy unconstitutional, there’s little room for compromise: One side must win, the other must lose. In constitutional litigation, too, experiments and pilot programs — real-world laboratories in which ideas can be assessed on the results they produce — are not possible. Ideas are tested only in the abstract world of legal briefs and lawyers arguments. As a society, we lose the benefit of the give-and-take of the political process and the flexibility of social experimentation that only the elected branches can provide.
So what does he think is the “big mistake” here? What does he no longer believe? The answer would be illuminating as to the judge’s approach to access to the courts and constitutional rights.