Looking to be entertained in 2017? Between Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime --- not to mention the revolution of luxury seating at movie theaters --- the vast majority of Americans find the variety and superior production value of TV and movies the perfect escape.
That's not really Senator Mike Lee's cup of tea, however. And thank goodness for it.
While the senator does enjoy a good movie, what really gets him fired up is the Constitution --- and judges like Neil Gorsuch, Trump's nominee for Supreme Court Justice whose confirmation hearings begin today. Not one of Gorsuch's written opinions as a federal judge has ever been overturned by the Supreme Court. Additionally, he writes with a clarity and wit that has great legal minds like Sen. Lee smiling and laughing.
Not only has Sen. Lee enjoyed getting to know the judge by reading opinions on the cases he's presided over, he's also gotten a real kick out them. When asked about a few favorites, Sen. Lee was thrilled to oblige, warning one might "hear angels sing" and "weep tears of hot joy" whilst reading Gorsuch's opinions.
Below are a few excerpts from Judge Gorsuch's writings that evoked such joy from a constitutionalist like Mike Lee:
No political truth is . . . stamped with the authority of more enlightened patrons of liberty than the separation of powers.
Think that beauty speaks volumes? Try this one on for size:
When the political branches disagree with a judicial interpretation of existing law, the Constitution prescribes the appropriate remedial process. It’s called legislation.
Judge Gorsuch really knows how to make a conservative weak in the knees. Here's one more that might make your heart flutter:
Transferring the job of saying what the law is from the judiciary to the executive unsurprisingly invites the very sort of due process (fair notice) and equal protection concerns the Framers knew would arise if the political branches intruded on judicial functions.
Mentioning the Framers in a written legal opinion? Be still Sen. Lee's heart.
Reading legal opinions may not be the chosen form of entertainment for most Americans, but count your blessings that men like Sen. Lee and Judge Gorsuch are endlessly fascinated with them. If Gorsuch's opinions don't cause you to "hear angels sing" or "weep tears of hot joy" then maybe this will: According to Sen. Lee, America is on the verge of confirming the perfect man to fill a massive, conservative void in the Supreme Court.