The Black Robe

The nation is now engaged in a one of our most important democratic traditions: namely, the confirmation hearings for a Supreme Court justice. In this case, for Judge Neil Gorsuch, the first nominee of President Donald Trump.

One of the most important observations came from Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska. He pointed to the symbolic nature of the robe that a justice wears, a black robe. It is neither a blue robe nor a red robe, neither Democratic nor Republican.

In our nation’s constitutional system, the judiciary is intended to be nonpartisan. Nonetheless, the reality is that the Court has become highly partisan, especially over the last half-century. We’ve also seen that there is a correlation between the constitutional philosophy that a justice takes to the Court and the partisan identity of the President who has appointed that justice.

But it was a service to the country that Senator Sasse expressed that ideal and that was very important for Americans to hear.