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RUSH: Moving to Judge Gorsuch. I have a question for you people, because I know that many of you are paying attention to the media out there. And you can’t miss this. There are an increasing number of Democrats and liberals and leftists outside the Senate who are singing Judge Gorsuch’s praises. The most recent is a woman from Harvard. She was in the Obama Department of Justice. She looks like Marie Harf with auburn hair. I like people having a picture, a mental picture of the people we’re talking about.

She’s now a law professor at Harvard, and she has been today singing the praises. She cut a 30-second video, in fact, and she was singing the praises of Gorsuch. Cannot do any better. He’s fair-minded. He’s a man who will follow the law. And there is a growing sentiment out there for Judge Gorsuch, and it is I think being helped by the fact that Senator Blumenthal exaggerated a bit what Gorsuch reportedly said about Trump’s attack of Judge Robart. Judge Robart was referred to as “that so-called judge” by President Trump. Richard Blumenthal, who lied about having served with honor and valor in Vietnam, claims that when he was talking to Gorsuch, that Gorsuch said that it was abhorrent what Trump said and he was very troubled by it. And it’s evolved now that that’s not what Gorsuch said.

Gorsuch did not say that he found what Trump said abhorrent. What happened is that Blumenthal characterized what he thought Trump’s statement about Judge Robart was and that Gorsuch pretty much agreed with it. And others, Ben Sasse, Nebraska, have come out and said, yes, Gorsuch was of the frame of mind that he was troubled and alarmed by President Trump’s attack on the judge, Judge Robart. And this is causing even more Democrats to warm up to the guy because all they can see is criticizing Trump. (laughing) So if he does that or is perceived to be doing that, then they’re warming up to him even more.

The bottom line is that Judge Gorsuch is going to be confirmed because he doesn’t change the balance of the court. And as we stated yesterday, Mitch McConnell is trying to get this done without having to invoke the nuclear option, meaning eliminate the requirement for 60 votes. But I’m gonna tell you, folks, this is not the fight that everybody thought it was going to be. The next one will be. The odds are that the next opening on the Supreme Court will happen when one of the four liberal judges just can’t go on, for whatever reason.

When one of those four slots opens up, and if Trump nominates anybody even close to Gorsuch, then you’re gonna see nuclear war. You’re gonna see essentially the way it was with Clarence Thomas. You know, Bork preceded Thomas. Clarence Thomas was the last real — I mean, it was bad for Alito, but the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings was all-out judicial nuclear war, and that was because he was nominated to replace Thurgood Marshall, black justice, tried-and-true leftist liberal Democrat.

The Democrats thought that seat was theirs forever. And George H. W. Bush puts Clarence Thomas in there. You all remember what happened, the Anita Hill allegations of sexual harassment and pubic hairs on Coke cans and all this. And Judge Thomas referred to it as a high-tech lynching because he was a conservative African-American who did not follow the proscriptions of affirmative action and the demands of the left. They tried to kill him, tried to kill his career, they tried to kill his reputation. They literally tried to destroy Clarence Thomas. They brought out everything they’ve got.

And that’s what’s coming. They’ll go back and forth on this whole nuclear op, ’cause they’re gonna need the nuclear option. McConnell’s gonna need it for the next judge, and he may as well trigger it now and establish precedent, because if he doesn’t do it for Gorsuch, it’s gonna be harder — (interruption) no, not in real life harder, but it’s gonna be harder with the media pressure. “You didn’t do it for Gorsuch, you can’t just selectively decide when you’re gonna do it.” That will put all kinds of pressure on him.

I just think if they think they’re going to need to nuke the nuclear option to get future nominees confirmed, just go ahead and do it for this and be done with it.

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RUSH: The Daily Caller has a story that the Trump administration is practically mailing Anthony Kennedy letters asking him to resign. Not doing that, but supposedly the Trump administration is trying to suggest to Justice Kennedy that it might be time to go, and they make the point they’re not being subtle about it. They’ve named a couple people who would be his potential replacements who clerked for him, which I guess is supposed to comfort Justice Kennedy that if he decides to retire, that somebody that he likes and respects is in line to replace him.

Snerdley asked what I think of this. This could be — you know, Kennedy goes either way. Supposedly you watch the Washington Post style section to figure out which way. But if Kennedy’s slot comes up first before one of the libs, that confirmation battle might be not quite as heated as it would be for one of the libs.

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RUSH: Okay. Here’s the headline in The Daily Caller: “Trump White House Sends Smoke Signals Urging Justice Kennedy To Resign.” I wonder if there are any hidden messages in there to Elizabeth Warren, Fauxcahontas, since they’re smoke signals, and she is part Indian. I guess we’ll never know.

“The Trump administration has quietly encouraged Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy to retire in recent weeks, sending signals meant to coax him into leaving the bench. The signals have been delivered with the subtlety of a hand grenade.

“The most clear indication came late Monday. The New York Times’ Adam Liptak, citing administration sources, reports the White House has identified Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Judge Raymond Kethledge of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, as the frontrunners for the next appointment to the high court. Both men clerked for Kennedy early in their careers, and are widely respected as serious and sober jurists.”

Well, I’m glad they’re sober. I’m really glad they’re sober. At least they have that going for them. What the heck, sober? Does that mean they’re just boring and dull and they sit around and drink coffee and are dead series even when they’re watching MTV. By the way, where did it get started — I’m serious here, folks. Where did it start that people cannot comment, cannot render opinion on judges? You know, Trump has weighed in on Judge Robart as a so-called judge, and they’re having cows out there. They’re going bonkers.

Meanwhile, there was Obama in a State of the Union address bashing the Supreme Court, seated right in front of him, for their ruling on Citizens United. I remember justice Alito was sitting there shaking his head as Obama totally mischaracterized the ruling. And the left applauded that, as is understandable, Obama was going after the court that had gone after him and they just loved it and so forth. Nobody talked about the lack of decorum, and nobody talked about the breakdown of civility. But let Trump refer to Robart as a so-called judge and you would believe that the glue holding our society together has come apart.

The thing is, judges can be corrupt. The thing is, judges do make incorrect decisions. They’re not above criticism. I understand the idea of an independent judiciary, but, folks, let’s be honest about something. The judiciary has become politicized extensively, and it has been the case for years. And this is I think another one of the tricks of the left. You are not supposed to criticize the judiciary. You just can’t. It’s unseemly. It’s a violation of the independence of the judiciary. It’s seen as a very, very mean-spirited way of trying to bully or influence or whatever. Where did this come from? It’s designed to get people to shut up. It’s a leftist mechanism designed to get people to shut up and stop criticizing these leftist judges when they act like hacks instead of judges.

I’ll give you another way the Democrats play this game. They’ll go get a celebrity who has a very visible disability and they’ll have this celebrity do a political commercial endorsing a candidate or an idea, a ballot initiative, and you don’t dare, you don’t dare criticize the celebrity because he’s disabled. And if you do that, you are just a heathen, you are a reprobate. And they do this on purpose. They put people in the political arena that they think are immune and hands off. You can’t comment on what they say or what they do, and I throw that out.

If they’re gonna enter the political arena, then they’re fair game. But Republicans generally in the past have cowered away from this. And this is the way it is for judges. Look, I understand tradition and all that where the judiciary is concerned and the independence of the judiciary, but they are a coequal branch of government, and there apparently are some rules that apply to them that the other two branches don’t get. Such as people aren’t allowed to express opinions about them, even though they make mistakes, even though they make bad moves, even though they are corrupt in many cases, even though they are political operatives first and judges second.

I mean, they already have the protection of illusion. You have a political hack who’s named as a judge, and he gets to rule as a judge when he’s acting as a hack. He already gets that cover. And you can’t comment on it, and you can’t criticize it. But let George H. W. Bush nominate a sitting appeals court justice or judge like Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, all bets are off, you can destroy him. You can go out and rip him a new one. You can do everything you can to stop him in his tracks.

But nobody’s supposed to be talking about Judge Robart here. And I know it’s a fraternity, judges and the people in the judicial system and so forth, and I do know they have their own decorum, sense of decorum and so forth. But the idea that they’re immune to criticism and above it, I think if they want to make law, they should run for office. But that’s not how the left does it. The left uses political hacks disguised as judges as insurance for when they lose elections. It’s actually, in a political sense, it’s pretty smart.

Anyway, on the justice Kennedy business, it mentions here in the Daily Caller story that even Judge Gorsuch clerked for Kennedy. And the whole story is that Trump administration is trying to telegraph to Kennedy, “It’s okay to leave.” Kennedy’s 83. It’s okay to leave because we gotcha covered. Whoever we’re gonna put in there is a clone. Somebody you know, somebody you like, somebody that worked for you, somebody you respect. And I don’t know if there’s any truth to this. I mean, this is the Daily Caller interpreting this as the Trump administration trying to send the signal to Kennedy to resign or retire.

Now, if Kennedy went first, does that change the confirmation strategy? For example, if one of the four libs, if one of them happens to retire or something else happens and their seat becomes open and Trump nominates a Gorsuch-like person or a Brett Kavanaugh, it’s gonna be, as I say, nuclear war. But would it be if it were Kennedy? Would it be as intense? ‘Cause Kennedy’s not thought of as a liberal seat. And the libs think they own those four seats. They are their seats in perpetuity. They are entitled to those four seats.

Kennedy’s seat is known as one that goes with the flow. He’s not known to vote strictly with either side. So there may be something to the strategy here that the actual way to get a conservative majority on the court would be to not wait for one of the libs to leave but rather to replace Justice Kennedy here in the wake of replacing Justice Scalia. No inside knowledge on this, just sharing with you all that floating out there.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Okay. Let’s go to the audio sound bites with Senator Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut. This was last night on Capitol Hill. He held a press conference to talk about his meeting with the Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch.

BLUMENTHAL: My strong hope is that he will be more vehement publicly. He certainly expressed to me that he is disheartened by the demoralizing and abhorrent comments made by President Trump about the judiciary.

RUSH: Well, here’s the problem with that. It was Blumenthal talking to Gorsuch who referred to the president’s comments as abhorrent. That word was not used by Gorsuch, and disheartening. These are characterizations that others have made in Gorsuch’s presence that he either signals his agreement by not opposing it or whatever, but Gorsuch is not running around the Senate ripping into Trump, is the point. The media wants you to think that Gorsuch is.

You know what they really want you to believe? They want you to think that Gorsuch is close to pulling himself out of this ’cause he’s so, so, so disappointed in Trump. That’s what they want you to think. They want you to think that Judge Gorsuch is so embarrassed, so embarrassed by this bumbling bull in a china shop that he doesn’t even want to be associated with this president, and he’s on the verge of pulling his own nomination from the Supreme Court. That’s what they’re trying to convince you. And that’s not by any stretch what’s happening.

The next thing they want you to believe is that after Blumenthal and a couple of others mischaracterizing the way Gorsuch is speaking, they want you to believe — I’ve even seen it speculated — will Trump pull the Gorsuch nomination himself because Gorsuch is not being loyal? Will Trump actually call Gorsuch and say I’m gonna pull your nomination. I don’t want some reprobate like you on the court that can’t be loyal to me. They want people to believe that might happen.

There’s no way that’s gonna happen, folks. All of this is a reaction to the Democrats and their continual losing. They are unhinged and don’t know what to do about it. They have no power. So they’ve got one or two things they can do. They can lie and try to make it look like they have the power, or they can lie and misstate and mischaracterize, and make it appear that even people on Trump’s teams are embarrassed by him and don’t really want to be part of it. And that’s what this is really all about, and none of it’s true.

Gorsuch is not gonna pull his own nomination. Trump’s not gonna pull it. And Gorsuch is not running around openly criticizing Trump in this way as they want you to believe. And in the case of Blumenthal, this is a guy, he still got elected because doing this kind of stuff is a resume enhancement. He lied openly to the people of this country in North Carolina about his valiant service in Vietnam. He never served in Vietnam. He lied about specifics and having courage and great valor and so forth. March 2nd, 2008, in Norwalk, Connecticut.

BLUMENTHAL: We have learned something very important since the days that I served in Vietnam, and you exemplify it. Whatever we think about the war, whenever we call it, Afghanistan or Iraq, we owe our military men and women unconditional support.

RUSH: He did not serve in Vietnam and it didn’t take long for this to be exposed. He wasn’t bothered by it. He did the usual political apology, “That’s not who I am. That guy that went out there and said that, that’s not who I am, and if anybody was offended by it and if any members of the military were insulted, I humbly apologize.”

Here’s a brief montage of Drive-By freakout about these non-comments from Gorsuch.

BLITZER: The president’s own Supreme Court nominee takes a different view, calling his comments about the judiciary “demoralizing” and “disheartening.”

ROBIN ROBERTS: Judge Neil Gorsuch, who’s calling the president’s harsh words about the courts, quote, “demoralizing” and “disheartening.”

PETE WILLIAMS: The president’s comments were, quote, “disheartening” and “demoralizing.”

NORAH O’DONNELL: Judge Neil Gorsuch called the president’s attack on the judiciary “demoralizing” and “disheartening.”

CHRIS HAYES: Calling the president’s comments about the judge, quote, “demoralizing” and “disheartening.”

CECILIA VEGA: Gorsuch described President Trump’s recent criticism of judges as, quote, “demoralizing” and “disheartening.”

CHRISTINE ROMANS: Judge Neil Gorsuch using the words “demoralizing” and “disheartening” to characterize the president’s recent attacks on the judiciary.

RUSH: He did not use the words abhorrent comments. He was speaking in generalities after such things were said by senators. They’re trying to make it look like Gorsuch is having second thoughts, he’s embarrassed to be any part of Trump administration. They’re flailing, folks.

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RUSH: This Blumenthal guy from Connecticut, I’m telling you, is a snake. Gorsuch didn’t say hardly anything Blumenthal wants you to think that he said and the media then jumps on and says. They just continue to lose. Trump now meeting with some Democrat senators on the Gorsuch nomination. Wait ’til that picture gets out. Ha!

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