Is Neil Gorsuch Anti-Duck?

Neil_Gorsuch_February_2017Rubber_duckies_So_many_ducksJudge Neil Gorsuch is scheduled to complete the long and grueling questioning of his confirmation hearing today. Indeed, he may finish a bit early.  Like past nominees, Gorsuch declined to discuss cases and said little about his positions on possible cases dealing with subjects like abortion.  Nominees are trained to hit grounders in these hearing and avoid pitches in the corners or trying to put anything over the wall.  He stayed with that strategy and the Democrats have made little progress in undermining his stellar record.  I have two columns out today at USA Today and The Hill newspaper discussing different aspects of the nomination.  I am scheduled to testify at the hearing on Thursday when they call expert witnesses.  There remains one disturbing question, however, that needs to be addressed:  is Judge Gorsuch anti-duck?

  Thus far, the only disappointing moment came when Judge Gorsuch failed to answer what may have been the most important question asked during the hearings, a question posed by the high school son of Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake whether Gorsuch would rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck during his confirmation hearing.

Judge Gorsuch failed or declined to give an answer, leaving Senators with the difficult decision of what to do in light of the failure to give his position on the key question.  This is not a question barred by the “Ginsburg Rule” since no horse or duck or duck-sized horse is in a pending case before the Judge.  It has raised the question of what Gorsuch is hiding and whether he is biased in favor of horses as a Colorado judge and well-known Broncos fan.  Duck organizations have raised the alarm over his possibly being “in the saddle” for big horse interests.  Whether we have a nominee who is pro-horse is perhaps left chilling then the question of whether he is so anti-duck that he was speechless when confronted by Flake.  Gorsuch’s well-known love for fishing adds to the concern.  Ducks can interfere with fishermen and Gorsuch’s ducking the duck question could raise an issue of a lack of judicial impartiality.

For the ADA (the American Duck Association), the concern is heightened by the fact that he is replacing a man who would often hunt ducks and eat them.  They are therefore crying fowl at the notion that Judge Gorsuch could not or would not answer this penetrating question.

The answer by the way is clear:  you fight the 100 duck-sized horses.  Now before I hear the neighing from horse apologists.  The weight of a horse can reach 2,200 pounds and the height can be as much as six feet.  In comparison the weight of a duck is three pounds and less than a foot in height.  Of course the weight of a duck has been a long-standing debate, including in quasi-judicial proceedings:

Putting that debate aside, facing a 2,200 pound, six-foot duck is a daunting prospect.  Extrapolating the increased dimensions on height, the beak of the duck alone would present a menacing weapon of three foot bone covered by a hardened layer of epidermis known as the rhamphotheca.  No rational (or unbiased) person would face such a menacing mallard over a bunch of 8-inch horses.  A two-ton duck could deliver a death-dealing blow in a single attack (putting aside the possibility of retaining the ability of flight at its immense size).  The only existential threat of being trampled to death by tiny horses would be to the most passive victim.

That returns us to the troubling question of what the nominee is hiding and whether ducks can expect a fair shake from a Justice Gorsuch.

175 thoughts on “Is Neil Gorsuch Anti-Duck?”

  1. I thought Judge Gorsuch was very assertive (in his semi-diplomatic way) about the Senate needing to take responsibility for legislating on the most hot-button issues. Paraphrasing: “If you’re unhappy with Citizens United, relegislate on the campaign finance issue”. He’s quite right. The 1st Amendment confers free speech, but is tacit on whether that extends to free speech waged from a position of anonymity (unaccountability). If Congress and the American people want to take away dark money based on transparency of free speech, legislate it and the courts will test it. Don’t sit there an whine about CU,
    do something…relegislate.

    This message needs to be hammered at the hearings.

  2. It’s Gorsuch in a walk. That restores a slim conservative majority on SCOTUS. When granny croaks or retires, we’re looking at a conservative predominance.

    1. “When granny croaks or retires…”, he says… — sounding like a misogynistic cretin.

      1. Oh, grow up word policeman. Nobody in this country cares what the language fascists say and hey I can say it until from now until Doomsday! Wanna hear it again?

        1. You’re a hoot. And all swagger… The Dunning–Kruger effect comes to mind.

      2. misogynistic
        [mi-soj-uh-nis-tik, mahy‐]
        1. reflecting or exhibiting hatred, dislike, mistrust, or mistreatment of women.

        Sorry, anonymous, I disagree. IMO nothing in that post was what I would call ‘misogynistic.’ Rather, I would call it ‘descriptive’ – certainly not misogynistic. Fact is that she does look like a granny with that lace doily she always wears around the collar of her robe.

  3. Well, it looks like I missed a very interesting line of questioning!

    And as for the estimation of upper range on horses, 2 of our horses are Percherons weighing 2400 pounds, and 18’2″ hands high, which is 6’2″ at the withers. Of course, their head can be raised much higher, as anyone trying to halter a draft horse when it’s time to clean an injury can tell you. And ours are not at the top of the scale. There are horses higher than 19 hands out there. Thank goodness they are known as gentle giants.

  4. I got cut off. And misspelled. I am not referring to Al Gore or global warming or some such. A duck is a duck. A guiney is a guiney. Kinfolks arse is good as any.
    Vote No if you want global warming or yes is you want duck eggs for breakfast. And vote with your feet if you are sick of the article on Gorsucks.

    1. Jack Ruby – the whole duck-horse thing is a great thought problem. Play along. Put a little joy in your life today. 🙂

  5. Correction: “Ronald Reagan’s nominee, Judge Robert Bork, opposed a fundamental right of privacy (opposing Roe v. Wade and Griswold v. Connecticut). He believed race and ethnicity were the limit of equal protection and that the First Amendment right to freedom of speech was intended to protect only political speech, scientific and moral discourse, but not art and literature. (”

    1. There is no such thing as a ‘right of privacy’, whether or not your fancies extend to adding the modifier ‘fundamental’. The ‘right’ to an abortion, of course, came straight out of Harry Blackmun’s rear end. (It’s also a gross social evil, something not recognized by Victor Navasky and his employees because they are petty social evils).

  6. “Judge Gorsuch failed or declined to give an answer, leaving Senators with the difficult decision of what to do in light of the failure to give his position on the key question.”

    I wish the Democrats on the committee – particularly Feinstein, the ranking member of the judiciary committee, who examined Judge Gorsuch as though she was late to a luncheon – had the cajones to say that if he doesn’t give full and proper answers to their questions, they will not support Gorsuch’s nomination. Gorsuch presumptuously avoided questions like the plague, arguing he’d be forecasting his feelings on issues he’d be addressing as a Justice,

    The irony’s there. Not a word from social conservatives when five judges of the 9th Circuit handed down what effectively was an advisory opinion in an unsolicited, unwarranted, non-binding, formal dissent subsequent to a three-judge panel’s opinion in an already-moot case. It was certainly intended as persuasive, political, “preventative justice” in advance of future litigation concerning the second executive order on immigration. (

    When it’s a conservative nominee to the Supreme Court, however, oh how they back their boy’s assertion that he cannot answer the question of his non-binding personal beliefs on general areas of law. What’s more, as an adjunct at the University of Colorado just last year, Gorsuch has already divulged his machinations over federal maternity-leave law, so his newly found love for invoking the advisory-opinion card should have invited strenuous criticism from the committee.

    Ronald Reagan’s nominee, Judge Robert Bork, opposed a fundamental right of privacy (opposing Roe v. Wade and Griswold v. Connecticut), on his belief that race and ethnicity were the limit of equal protection, and on his belief the First Amendment right to freedom of speech was intended to protect only political speech, scientific and moral discourse, but not art and literature. ( He properly fielded questions as to his beliefs and to his credit answered fully. Judge Gorsuch, if yesterday’s testimony is any indication, would have responded that to answer such questions would have been a “prejudgment,” and therefore he can’t answer. Instead, we get to see platitudes such as a seemingly tearful acknowledgment of fellow Coloradan Whizzer White’s portrait hanging in the basement of the SCOTUS and the highest court being the basketball court on top of the building. Baloney!

    The Democrats remind me of neutered church mice infesting the Capitol building for the scraps of cheese they gorge on when the lights are out, and the lights have been out since the Democrats decided they better do as Republicans and take money from whomever offers it.

  7. Watching and comparing the senators, I have to say I’m proud to be a Democrat. The GOP senators were embarrassingly bad– corporate shills all– and would be no match for the Dems in the courtroom. Gorsuch clearly is a far right wing judge and will sock it to us for the next 30+ years.

      1. Yes they do, and the Washington Bureau of the Kremlin is generally weaker than its competitors.

    1. Really- I thought Di Fi’s line of questioning was ridiculous. He is being appointed to carry out the law, not his personal agenda. It seems to me that the democrats are more concerned with their agenda than the law. That is a sword that cuts both ways and is the problem with the concept of a living constitution. This is just code for, “I change it when I feel like it” and a path I wouldn’t want to go down.

    2. “Watching and comparing the senators, I have to say I’m proud to be a Democrat.”
      Like all rare things some people value them and others just wish they were fewer still.

    3. Isn’t it s ahame when you call somebody who follows the constituion a “far right wing” judge and a judge who rules from a political “Alt-left”?) bent main stream.

    4. It’s been said during his hearings that 97% of the Tenth Circuit’s opinions are unanimous and Gorsuch has ruled with the majority 99% of the time. He is mainstream.

      Like all Democrats, you characterize anybody who is not to the left of Mao as far right wing. You’re clearly the extremist, not him.

  8. Oh, this is so cute–he’s anti-duck.

    Well he’s pro-torture so I guess it’s a win-win for congress and the WH.

  9. There once was a time when an appellate judge, a law professor and a trial judge went duck hunting. To make matters interesting, they each put $100 into a pot. The hunter who first shot a duck would claim the prize. There was, however, a kicker. If any one of them shot a bird that was not a duck, he would need to put another $100 into the pot.

    The appellate judge went first. As an aviary-type creature flew by, the judge commented, “You know, I believe that the Supreme Court decided a case directly on point, last term if I recall. I believe the Court held that that that type of bird was, in fact, a duck or was enough like a duck to be considered a duck. So, I conclude that it is a duck. He took aim, but by the time the judge went through his legal analysis, the bird was well out of range.

    The law professor went next. As a bird flew by, he was heard to say, “I believe that the majority view, and in my opinion the better reasoned view, is that a bird like that one is a duck, although there is a minority view on that subject”. He took aim, but the bird was gone.

    Then, it was the trial judge’s turn. A bird flew by. He took aim and fired. Down went the bird. He exclaimed, “Boy, I sure hope that was a duck”.

    J. Gorsuch missed a golden opportunity to deliver a punch line.

    1. I remember this Buddy Hackett duck hunting joke from when it originally aired. Cracked me up.

      1. J. Gorsuch was not fully prepared. As soon as Sen. Flake said “duck”, Gorsuch should have immediately segued into the duck joke. Just because they were doing serious business, doesn’t mean they can’t do it with a smile on their faces.

    2. I agree. And other times he was so anxious to tell prepared off-point family stories that he completely lost me. He was raised as a mama’s boy, and his mother’s travails with the system have made him a far right Federalist.

  10. I watched until the noon recess and thought judge Gorsuch was quite calm, relaxed and poised. Later in the afternoon, I tuned back in, upon gazing at the visage of Al Franken and hearing his grating voice, I switched on Netflix.

              1. Not exactly what happened. But that is the spin the media wants to put on it. It all points to Obama. But the media won’t “go there.” The untouchable Obama is luxuriating in Tahiti right now. All by himself. Huh.

            1. Nunes was on the Trump transition team. The investigation really needs to be lead by someone other than a Trump team member.

                1. How about ‘unmaking’ and ‘disseminating’ the information that was collected? Illegal, yes?

                    1. I’m related to a retired FBI agent. Good friend is a police detective. I know a little something. Plus I have a very good internal radar. Comey is parsing and leaving out info that I would call lying by omission and obfuscation. IOW, Comey is pulling a Clapper. No doubt about it.

                  1. After Nunes’s performance, McCain is calling for an independent commission. Too many politics involved as it is now.

                    1. True. And that would fall under DOD and not DOJ. So there is more to be revealed and understood here.

                    1. Nunes said what concerns him is the names of innocent American citizens, who had not done anything wrong, were ‘incidentally’ collected – legally – but then instead of purging their names and protecting their names as they should have – their names were intentionally ‘unmasked’ and then widely circulated in Intel reports throughout the government -where Russia was NOT the subject of investigation.

                      Nunes is saying that there has to be a REASON for an “unmasking” and we do not know who ordered this or why. And the media has little interest in finding out ‘who’ ordered this or ‘why’ because the MSM clearly doesn’t care to get to the bottom of it when it all points to their boy Obama and his WH officials.

                      Recall that Obama admin changed and loosened the NSA dissemination rules just days before leaving office. Why? Reporters are not even curious to dig into this. So, will any Obama officials be questioned? Investigated? This conduct by Obama officials should concern every single reporter, lawmaker, and citizen regardless of party. We have a revelation here by Nunes that points to potential politicization of intelligence information and a potential abuse of power by Obama officials. But of course the left leaning media is focusing not on the substance of the conduct of Obama admin officials and why they did what they did, but instead they focus on attacking Nunes and Trump. See what’s going on here?

                1. The reporters and commenters are asking all the wrong questions. Why isn’t there complete outrage? Why isn’t this a bigger story? Why aren’t reporters seeking out Obama officials for questioning? It is the conduct of the Obama admin that should be the focus on reporting, but it’s not, is it? This conduct points to potential felonies committed by the Obama WH – not wrong doing by Nunes, not wrong doing by Trump. The breaking story points to Obama officials and THEIR conduct. But that is not what the focus of news reporting is, is it? This is the media “running interference” for their boy Obama by not focusing on the real story here.

                  1. Police state tactics. By Obama. Report on THIS, you lying, deceiving MSM shills.

                    1. A truly bi=partisan speciali investigation is needed. Nunes made things worse.

  11. I disagree with the conclusion. Both species play defense by the classic running away paradigm (yes, they both emulate chickens). Each species has basically only one form of offense. Ducks can snap but without teeth they are, well, without teeth. Horses can kick (ref: google image(verb) “horse kick man”).

    One hundred duck size horses could coordinate, spin around and inflict significant pain with a well placed kick. Shins would quickly be disabled after which even an honourable judge would be trampled by hooves as they skee-daddled. [The legal term for which is “ouch!”]

    But a single horse-sized duck could easily be outmaneuvered by almost any judge, or politician for that matter, as they are generally well-versed in techniques of ducking (NPI) and running and so will avoid the single snapping bill (some lawyers I know are quite adept at avoiding any bill, especially in a restaurant). A semi-casual wave of the hands would send the giant chicken, er, duck running for it’s mommy.

    Thus: you fight the 1 horse-sized duck. I guess this thinking is another difference between a lawyer an an engineer. 🙂

    1. Kairho – horses have teeth and use them for offense and defense. Ask any farrier. So, 20 duck sized horses, who are herd animals, could be very hazardous to the health of your lower limbs. On the other hand, one horse size duck, with flight capabilities, dive bombing you and crapping on your head (just for starters) could ruin your day and your suit. Ducks also use their beaks as weapons and their wings as weapons, as needed.

    2. Don’t forget that birds defended from theropods, the same family as Tyrannosaurus Rex. In fact, their toes and eggs are still in the same shape.

      Now, I do not have any experience with ducks, but I do with horses and chickens. If you’ve ever seen a hapless mouse get into a chicken coop in daylight, you will suddenly become aware that chickens really do retain some aspects of the theropod. My calm, sweet, vegetarian fed hens who sit in my lap, will gleefully and excitedly rip that mouse to shreds, without teeth. Which is why I have thoroughly mouse proofed my coop because I don’t want my egg layers eating vermin.

      Now, if ducks share any characteristics with chickens in predatory behavior, do you really want to face a 6 foot tall duck?

      1. Karen – don’t forget, the wing span on that duck is going to be amazing. 😉 You put one of those in your yard, you will never be burgled.

  12. I am ashamed to say that Sen. Flake represents me. He is trying to be a mini-McCain. When he was in Congress he was very conservative and he represented my district. I am glad Gorsuch did not play his silly reindeer games.

    1. Reread . . . it was Flake’s son, maybe also a flake, who asked the question.

      1. Sub Tract – Sen. Flake asked the question, the son asked him to ask it. I think it is in poor taste and out of order during this type of hearing. I don’t think in itself it is a bad question. It is an interesting thought problem, but one you would ask a group of h.s. students to get a conversation going.

  13. Gorsuch will be confirmed, primarily because the Senate is GOP but also because he is the best the Democrats can hope for in the time of DDT. Compare and Contrast the lunacy of DDT and even a conservative like Gorsuch looks inviting. The real danger lies with the next replacement. If the Senate is GOP and the lunatic DDT is still President, then America will slide back further and will stay back for a long while. An even greater danger lies in a following replacement under this nightmare of a government. If ever there was a rallying cry to vote Democrat in two years, this is it.

    1. Translated. The left wing fascist socialist war monger have finally figured out they lost lost lost by their own doing and now plaintively cry out for 2020 or 2024 or …..They have lost their non existent democracy and WE have won back our Constitutional Republic complete with its representative democratically principled base .

      I care not for the left they are shattered I care nothing for them except the chance to smash the secular regressives again.

      What I care about now is getting the RINOs in line or out of the line up. But as a member of the phantom army of those who came forward en masse to protect OUR Constitutional Republic I gladly accept the capitulation from the left and those of them who wish to join the Independent Democrats movement and join our Coalition. Those who found themselves embarassed by the secular regressives can find a home to continue supporting their Constitutional prnciples as self governing independent free citizens.

      for the rest of us its up to us to keep them in line and never let them forget who really won and who were carried on our coat tails, who are still considered quasi members of the ‘wrong’ left.

      God loves the infantry. Ballots not bullets have surely won this day

      1. And you are happy with a Fake President or maybe Shameless President, DDT.

  14. Scalia was outspoken with many personal opinions but nonesuch with Gorsuch, except for once when he foolishly got a dig in at trial lawyers, letting his guard down in a big way. That satisfied me that he harbors dislike for plaintiffs lawyers.

    1. I think until the issue of Russia and Trump quits his lying tweets that this confirmation should be held up.

      Until I watched his weasling way on television I had no such opinion. Today, I am listening in the office and wonder why, Merritt Garland wasn’t vetted by the Senate.

      We also need to see Trumps tax records. How much of Flynns and Manafory proven 12.1 million did Trump receive?

        1. Yes, very much so, men of character. Too bad you (WE) have a Fake President.

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