I must open this Musing with gratitude. Gratitude to those of you who wrote such lovely comments after last week’s Musing and to those of you who thought of writing but never quite did (been there done that). I am truly honored by your friendship. Many of you also sent lovely notes and heartfelt prayers just one year ago when our daughter had emergency surgery and delivered her son prematurely. I’m filled with gratitude to you and overwhelmingly to God for the good health they both now enjoy that can make those scary days seem much longer ago than they actually are.
Like most Americans, I only heard about Judge Neil Gorsuch recently. Not to worry—a quick search brings up any number of articles with titles such as, “Seven Things to Know about Judge Gorsuch,” or “Five Important Facts about the Supreme Court Nominee.” Scanning those articles didn’t answer my main question.
It is easy to discover that he is eminently qualified and by all accounts a worthy successor to Judge Scalia. I quickly found his educational and clerking background and read about opinions he wrote. I even know his wife’s and daughters’ names.
What truly sparks my curiosity? I want to know more about his wife than what’s available on the surface. It’s mildly interesting that she goes by the name Louise rather than her full name, Marie Louise or that she is British. I would like to know what makes her tick.
Why does this matter to me? It is not only because for years my husband and I have taught that every job is actually a two-person job. (This means that a couple where both spouses work actually has four jobs between them. No wonder so many couples are struggling!) Knowing someone’s spouse provides much more than cocktail party chatter. Ancient Jewish wisdom tells us that a righteous wife can sway a less sterling husband while a sinful wife will influence her husband as well.
I don’t suspect Mrs. Gorsuch of being sinful. I do care that she shares her husbands principles and morals. Washington is a dangerous city. Many an upstanding politician or political appointee from flyover country has relocated his family there only to find that as the years go by, his ideas are more influenced by the capital and less by the people he was chosen to represent. Sometimes, women are the ones to open the Pandora’s box. We women are social creatures. Relocating means establishing a new network of friends. If there are children, this new circle often comes about through their school and activities. In Washington, as in most large cities, there are more liberal leaning than conservative leaning women. It isn’t difficult to understand that ever so slowly, one’s ideas begin to be shaped by new friends, even though those same ideas would have been rejected years earlier. The desire to be socially acceptable can be overwhelming.
Judge Gorsuch’s young age is appealing to those of us who would like a staunch Constitutionalist on the bench for many years to come. While there is no guarantee of good health, age is traditionally a predictor for length of service. Yet, we have been stung by the leftward leaning drift of some Justices in the past.
I do believe we are confirming a couple, not just a man. I pray that Mrs. Gorsuch is a strong woman with strong convictions that match her husband’s. I pray that both of them are able to pass their values on to their daughters, so that they too can resist the siren song that plays loudly in our nation’s large cities.
I would be remiss to not come full circle and express gratitude to President Trump for fulfilling his campaign promise as regards the Supreme Court nomination. The Supreme Court was a deciding factor in many voters’ choice of Mr. Trump and I, for one, appreciate his fidelity to his word.