A Gorsuch Horror Story

No wonder Republicans love him: Neil Gorsuch really is Baby Scalia. Like his idol, he’s a good Catholic—until it gets to the question of the death penalty. There, he’s just as ghoulish as any Republican could hope for.

Just a few months ago, Gorsuch — now President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court — ruled against the estate of a man who was executed in one of the worst botched lethal injections in US history. Gorsuch and two other judges ruled that it was an “innocent misadventure” or an “isolated mishap,” but not cruel and unusual punishment.

In that case, Clayton Lockett’s estate sued the state of Oklahoma for constitutional violations in his 43-minute execution. Lockett was given a controversial sedative called midazolam, then two drugs that cause immense pain: a paralytic and a drug to stop the heart.

After he was injected with the drugs, Lockett raised himself on the gurney and said, “Shit is fucking with me.” Executioners had thought he was already dead.

Members of the state’s execution team examined his IV, which was set up near his groin and covered by a blanket. When they moved the blanket, they discovered the IV had infiltrated, creating swelling the size of between a golf ball and a tennis ball. The drugs weren’t going into his veins like they were supposed to.

The prison warden called it a “bloody mess.” The state attempted to call off the execution 30 minutes in, but Lockett died anyway 10 minutes later.

It was horrifying, and Gorsuch didn’t just have a role in denying Lockett’s family redress, he helped set the stage for the man’s tortuous death. The use of midazolam as an execution sedative and Oklahoma’s execution procedures had been in front of Gorsuch before, and he voted to uphold it. “At that time, the drug midazolam had already been used in other botched executions, including a nearly two-hour execution in Arizona.”

But he’s “pro-life,” so he’s a darling of the right. This man is not mainstream. This man should not be illegitimately installed in the seat Republicans stole on the Supreme Court.

–Joan McCarter, Daily Kos

How Would Republicans React To Obama Doing The Same Thing, Episode #2284

A play in 1 act:

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: In consultation with no federal officials and for no reason, I’ve decided America will now be preferentially admitting Muslim immigrants from Muslim countries.

HOUSE REPUBLICANS: This is fine. The president has broad authority over immigration policy and we can think of no objections here.

OBAMA: I was originally going to bar all non-Muslim visitors to the United States but my staff informed me that would violate American law. I instead instructed my staff to create an executive order that would do as close to the same thing as we believed we could get away with.

HOUSE REPUBLICANS: That is a very clever move, and we fully support it.

OBAMA: Nevertheless, the United States attorney general has now informed me that my secretly crafted order intended to circumvent American law still violates American law and that the Department of Justice will not defend it in our courts, so I have fired the attorney general and placed a new one in charge who will defend my order regardless of whether Justice Department staff finds it to be legal or not.

HOUSE REPUBLICANS: Since you are the sitting president and your executive orders override American law anyway, we fully support this and have no qualms with this situation.

OBAMA: I also used your own House staffers to write the order and made them sign nondisclosure agreements so that they wouldn’t inform your leadership what was going on. Maybe. Or maybe I’m just messing with you.

HOUSE REPUBLICANS: That sounds reasonable.

OBAMA: The courts have now issued orders barring my departments from enforcing my policy because it violates existing law, so I have instructed those departments to ignore the Judiciary Branch, mention of which I have now removed from the White House website in what may or may not be an apparent act of buffoonish pique by members of my staff, and ordered them to continue enforcing my new policies regardless of whether they have federal court orders to the contrary.

HOUSE REPUBLICANS: Thank God we have such a reasonable president in office, and not a tyrant who usurps our own authority and casts aside even the rule of law.

REP. JASON CHAFFETZ: Let us all raise a glass and toast our perfectly reasonable president, who is not himself a secret Muslim and who is exercising his authority in unremarkable ways that we could not possibly object to.

REP. PAUL RYAN: Yes. Let us all toast the president, who has unbridled power to craft executive orders regardless of our opinions, the opinions of the entire rest of the federal government, or the legal orders of sitting federal judges.

Scene.

—-Hunter, Daily Kos