Methinks Gorsuch is a fine fellow and I’d enjoy going fishing with him. And I appreciate his strong commitment to being a servant of the Constitution and the law. We do need someone who takes the Constitution seriously.
But I look at his virtues with hope that something else beyond Constitution and law. If a Justice has only those two commitments, he or she is of no particular value. If the only questions we ask in difficult situations are, What is constitutional? and What is legal?, then who needs a judge?
We need judges and Justices not for the Constitution, not for the law, but for wisdom. I can see nothing in Gorsuch that suggests to me he has any appreciation for this, the most crucial contribution of the bench. A mere legalist? Shoot, we could program computers to do that. We need wisdom, wisdom, wisdom. It takes wisdom, not mere legal knowledge, to build the bridge between the Constitution and law and the real world of human life.
For example, Gorsuch applied a strict reading of the law to justify the firing of a man who violated his boss’ orders in order to protect himself of a crisis when caught for many hours in sub-zero weather. I don’t care much for the law when it matters more than human beings.
Sadly, wisdom seems to be one of those many virtues that has slipped from the attention of Americans. Where is the wisdom of our day? I cannot see it, cannot find it. No matter how much I long for leaders of wisdom, I see only a spiritual, moral, frequently foolish partisan wasteland.
Where is our wisdom?