The push to confirm President Donald Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee will get contentious, but Democrats will believe they “have a right” to fight against him after former President Barack Obama’s choice to fill the seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia was never given a hearing, Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Monday.
“This should have been a Democratic nomination,” Dershowitz told MSNBC, commenting on how he thinks House Democrats will reason. “That’s going to be their point. They are going to ask [Judge Neil] Gorsuch himself, what does he think, should there have been a hearing?”
Merrick Garland, Obama’s choice, was blocked by Republicans to allow the incoming president to be the one to nominate Scalia’s heir, but that does not mean Trump’s candidate will have an easy time of the confirmation proceedings, which began on Monday.
Gorsuch, though, is a “typical, intelligent, well-thought-of conservative judge,” said Dershowitz, who will “fill Justice Scalia’s seat without a change in policy on the Supreme Court.”
The only issue, said Dershowitz, will be whether the Democrats should reward the Republicans for their preventing a hearing going through.”
Dershowitz also denied reports that he had a meeting with the president over the weekend but that he was having dinner with friends at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida and Trump came to speak to him and his dining companions.
He also said he did not sense that Trump was nervous about Monday’s hearing involving FBI Director James Comey before the House Intelligence Committee.
“I think, he thinks, at bottom there may have been surveillance,” said Dershowitz, about Trump’s claims that former President Barack Obama was behind the wiretapping at Trump Tower.
“The irony, isn’t this an irony, we believe whatever the national security people tell us,” said Dershowitz. “They used to never believe that. The conservatives don’t trust the national security people at all. It shows you how partisan things have gotten.”
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