Neil Gorsuch is poised to be the next Supreme Court justice of the United States, filling a spot that’s been vacant for over a year. Gorsuch will wield enormous power and help shape the country’s laws for generations to come. And Republican Senators aren’t afraid to ask him the tough questions: Like would you rather fight a hundred duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck.
Yes, the distinguished Republican from Arizona, Senator Jeff Flake, really did ask Gorsuch the horse-sized duck question yesterday. The hypothetical question dates back to early-2000s internet forums and in recent years has been made popular on Reddit.
Now, you might think that asking such a question is a waste of time, given the fact that this Supreme Court seat has been vacant since Antonin Scalia’s death in February of 2016. And you would be absolutely right. But do you want to hear the worst part? Gorsuch didn’t even give an answer.
Senator Flake said that the question had been texted to him by his teenage son and that while he didn’t know what it means, he apparently thought it might be a great use of everyone’s time.
“You can tell him that I’m very rarely at a loss for words, but you got me,” Gorsuch said playfully.
During his own time for questions during the hearing Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas asked about the meaning of life and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Again, tough groundbreaking stuff.
In a more productive use of everyone’s time, Democratic Senator Al Franken of Minnesota asked Gorsuch about a case where he was the lone dissenting opinion in a 2009 case where a trucker was stranded on the side of the rode and almost froze to death. Gorsuch ruled against the trucker, who was fired for abandoning his trailer so as not to freeze to death.
The Supreme Court seat has sat vacant for over a year because Republicans refused to give President Obama’s choice of Merrick Garland a confirmation hearing. With Garland widely seen as a politically moderate nominee, Republicans argued that Obama shouldn’t be able to choose the next Supreme Court justice because he had so little time left in office.
At the rate that Donald Trump’s administration is being investigated for corruption and possible coordination with a state actor hoping to influence the 2016 election, one could easily make the argument that perhaps Trump shouldn’t be allowed to choose a nominee for the Supreme Court with so little time left in office.