The Bipartisan Law Fraternity That Doesn’t Have a Position on the Supreme Court Nominee

By Mike Brest

Oksana Ryjouk, a junior and brother of the Phi Alpha Delta chapter, a pre law fraternity, discusses her reasons for rushing and President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

 

Oksana Ryjouk, a junior pre-law student from New Jersey, decided to rush the Phi Alpha Delta chapter, the pre-law fraternity, to help her career. She said, “I figured my family is immigrants, we don’t really have knowledge of how to enter this field, so I thought this was the best course of action.”

“I joined because ever since I was middle school or elementary school I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer to ‘change the world,’ Ryjouk, whose parents immigrated from Russia, said. “So international relations and being a lawyer and working towards human rights is my passion.“

With a number of different opinions within the chapter, they knowingly decide to limit their partisan conservation to “[unite] students and teachers of the law with members of the Bench and Bar in a fraternal fellowship designed to advance the ideals of liberty and equal justice under law…” according to their official motto.

With President Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch, Phi Alpha Delta has not and will not release any official statement nor will they about any other nominations. She said they aren’t a political group or an advocacy group, but a bipartisan one that promotes learning about law and helping others who cannot defend themselves.

She also mentioned that the fraternity has held a few respectful and thought provoking discussions on Gorsuch, and other potential nominees, both during the current administration and during President Obama’s time in office.

Ryjoik gave her opinion on the nomination and said, “From a non bias legal perspective, it’s very hard to discern whether or not human rights are at stake.” She add, “With Donald Trump’s nominees, a quarter of them are viable candidates I’d say in terms of Supreme Court nominations. However, knowing Donald Trump’s loyalties, representations, and qualifications of the cabinet members he’s chosen and the possible corrupt allegations that have been surfacing around his picks, I am very wary about his nominees.”

President Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court has been met with skepticism from liberal organizations as his cabinet nominees. The opening, which occurred following the death of Antonin Scalia almost a year ago exactly, will break the current 4-4 tie of liberals vs. conservatives and that has the left uneasy.

“Right now a lot of Democrats are willing to concede on this first nominee if there will only be one nominee,” Ryjouk stated. “If a second one arises [because] a liberal or Democrat or even a swing voter dies or vacates their seat, they will fight.”

Ryjouk’s point was in reference to Justice Ginsberg, 83, and Justice Kennedy, 80. Justice Ginsberg is considered liberal whereas Justice Kennedy was often the swing vote in many 5-4 decisions. Should either of them step down or die under the current administration, President Trump would have the opportunity to potentially make the court even more lopsided. 

            Ryjouk does have a question for every potential nominee. “Why do you personally think in the political climate that the United States is in now and will be in the twenty years… you are able to be a United States Supreme Court judge and uphold the law in an uncorrupt fashion?”

It appears that Judge Gorsuch confirmation hearing will begin by the end of next month. Should the democrats concede on Gorsuch and choose not to filibuster, it would only require a simple majority vote on the senate floor to confirm his nomination. If there is a filibuster however, then it would require 60 votes to end it, which would then lead to the simple majority final vote. In the event the vote to end the filibuster fails, the nomination would fail and President Trump would have to start the process all over again. Obama’s nominee, Merrick Gartland, never to start the confirmation process.


 

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