Neil Gorsuch’s Plagiarism Problem
Politico has a bombshell. Mind you Politico itself frames it a big gently-and euphemistically-in the title:
“Gorsuch’s writings borrow from other authors.”
“The White House rejects any suggestion of impropriety.”
The Trump WH denies any suggestion of impropriety but how many times has the Trump WH claimed there was no impropriety and then later we learn quiet differently? Trump says he has nothing to do with Russia.
The GOP narrative on Gorsuch has been that he’s this fine, impeccable jurist that the Democrats have no good reason to oppose. The GOP has claimed the Dems are not allowed to oppose him on his Right wing ideology because then ‘What GOP judge could get their vote?
Like everything the GOP has said about the fight over Gorsuch, this claim that ideology is not a legitimate reason to oppose a judge is more than a little ironic.
“The principle is the same — whether it’s before the election or after the election — the principle is that the America people are choosing their next president and the next president should choose this Supreme Court nominee,” McConnell said on “Fox News Sunday.”
He said he couldn’t imagine “a Republican majority Senate — even if it were soon to be a minority — would want to confirm a judge that would move the court dramatically to the left. That’s not going to happen.”
This was in March 2016. So then McConnell thought ideology was an acceptable reason to oppose a SJC nomination.
Indeed, while the GOP now affects this faux outrage over not giving an allegedly very qualified judge an up or down vote-Gorsuch has the respect of everyone in the legal field, the GOPers say-here’s what Richard Burr said back on November 1, 2016:
“If you still believe the Republican Party is coming apart at the seams, or even plunging into a civil war, look at what North Carolina senator Richard Burr told volunteers this weekend in privately recorded audio. Burr dispensed with the myth that Donald Trump disagrees with the central thrust of the party platform, insisting, with mild exaggeration, that the nominee “aligns perfectly with where the Republican Party is.” More important, he promised that he would oppose any candidate Hillary Clinton nominated to fill the vacancy created by Antonin Scalia’s death “if Hillary Clinton becomes president, I am going to do everything I can do to make sure four years from now, we still got an opening on the Supreme Court.”
To digress for a moment, I’ve discussed the other point made in this paragraph by Jonathan Chait: that the notion that Trump ‘Is not a Republican’ or even ‘He’s been a Democrat most of his life’ is simply false.
Morning Joe still constantly repeats this lie that Trump has been a Democrat most of his life. No, his time as a Democrat was very short lived-basically during the Dem primary in 2004. He and Roger Stone did a black bag job on Howard Dean. I’ve written about this more than once.
The Dems have a number of reasons to oppose Neil Gorsuch:
1. Merrick Garland
2. As Ted Lieu points out, as long as the FBI into Russian collusion continues we don’t even know wether Trump is legitimate or not. But you can’t allow an illegitimate President or one who’s legitimacy is at least subject to doubt make appointments that last at least the next 20 to 30 years.
I completely agree with Lieu that until the FBI investigation and any other investigations are concluded, Trump should get no SJC pick and shouldn’t be allowed to pursue any legislative agenda either.
3. He’s a Right wing ideologue whose views on things like worker rights, a woman’s right to choose and the environment are beyond the pale.
As we saw from Mitch McConnell’s quote while he was holding up Merrick Garland, he was not above opposing a judge purely on ideology. The same question he asks of Democrats applies to him and his GOP friends: ‘If not Garland, what Democratic nominee could get the votes of REpublicans.’
4. He’s also not been remotely forthcoming in the hearings. His response to tough questions during the hearings has been to politely smile and not answer.
But now there’s another reason to oppose Gorsuch. Contrary to what the GOP claims, Gorscuh’s credentials are not impeccable-unless you think that plagiarism in now way hurts a judge’s credentials:
“Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch copied the structure and language used by several authors and failed to cite source material in his book and an academic article, according to documents provided to POLITICO.”
“The documents show that several passages from the tenth chapter of his 2006 book, “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,” read nearly verbatim to a 1984 article in the Indiana Law Journal. In several other instances in that book and an academic article published in 2000, Gorsuch borrowed from the ideas, quotes and structures of scholarly and legal works without citing them.”
“The findings come as Republicans are on the brink of changing Senate rules to confirm Gorsuch over the vehement objections of Democrats. The documents could raise questions about the rigor of Gorsuch’s scholarship, which Republicans have portrayed during the confirmation process as unimpeachable.”
“The White House on Tuesday pushed back against any suggestion of impropriety.
“This false attack has been strongly refuted by highly-regarded academic experts, including those who reviewed, professionally examined, and edited Judge Gorsuch’s scholarly writings, and even the author of the main piece cited in the false attack,” said White House spokesman Steven Cheung. “There is only one explanation for this baseless, last-second smear of Judge Gorsuch: those desperate to justify the unprecedented filibuster of a well-qualified and mainstream nominee to the Supreme Court.”
“However, six experts on academic integrity contacted independently by POLITICO differed in their assessment of what Gorsuch did, ranging from calling it a clear impropriety to mere sloppiness.”
“Each of the individual incidents constitutes a violation of academic ethics. I’ve never seen a college plagiarism code that this would not be in violation of,” said Rebecca Moore Howard, a Syracuse University professor who has written extensively on the issue.
Hmm. So the GOP argument for Gorsuch-he’s an impeccable jurist with 100% respect in the legal field-has been exploded. Yet they want to alter the Senate rules to ram him through.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will