Senate Democrats should ask Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick, Judge Neil Gorsuch, his opinion on Republicans' actions regarding Merrick Garland's nomination, according to law professor and author Alan Dershowitz.
Garland was former President Barack Obama's nomination to the vacant Supreme Court seat, and he did not receive a hearing from Republicans in the Senate.
In an opinion piece for the Boston Globe Thursday, Dershowitz said asking the question gives Democrats an opportunity to put Gorsuch on the spot about his party's actions.
"Judge Gorsuch, who is a clever man, will try desperately to avoid answering that embarrassing question," Dershowitz wrote.
"It is embarrassing because as a constitutional originalist, he must certainly agree that the Senate has a constitutional obligation either to consent or deny consent to a presidential nominee. There is nothing in the text of the Constitution or in its original purpose that would allow senators simply to refuse to perform their constitutional obligation, in the hope that the next president will be of their party," according to Dershowitz.
Gorsuch "would have to express at least some constitutional concerns" about the actions of Republicans, Dershowitz wrote.
"If Gorsuch were to answer that probing question honestly, he would be challenging the legitimacy of his own nomination," the law professor said. "He surely will not want to do that."
The Democrats could benefit from asking the question, according to Dershowitz, because it would make both "good theater" and "good politics."
However, Dershowitz said Gorsuch is "eminently" qualified for the position. He is similar to Justice Antonin Scalia, and his nomination would be "one conservative originalist judge replacing another."
It could be worth the wait for Democrats to allow Gorsuch in, while waiting to fight a nomination for a more extreme situation, Dershowitz wrote.
"The next vacancy, if it were of a liberal seat, might well change the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court in a way that denied fundamental rights to the most vulnerable Americans," he added.
Dershowitz said a battle in that case could be justified.
The law professor has praised Gorsuch on Tuesday, saying the judge was a "smart appointment" who is "hard to oppose."
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