“And what would you have done?” Franken asked. “I’m asking you a question. Please answer the question,” Franken pressed.
“Senator, I don’t know,” the finest legal mind in all of conservative America answered. “I wasn’t in the man’s shoes, but I understand why . . . ”
“You don’t know what you would’ve done,” Franken summed up for him. “OK, I’ll tell you what I would’ve done. I would’ve done exactly what he did. And I think everybody here would’ve done exactly what he did. And I think that’s an easy answer. Frankly, I don’t know why you had difficulty answering that.”
From there, Franken turned to the dissent Gorsuch wrote. As Franken described it, the issue came down to a “plain meaning” rule: “When the plain meaning of a statute is clear on its face, when its meaning is obvious, courts have no business looking beyond the meaning to the statute’s purpose.” That’s what Gorsuch relied on in his ruling.
“But the plain meaning rule has an exception,” Franken continued. “When using the plain meaning rule would create an absurd result, courts should depart from the plain meaning,” he said. “It is absurd to say this company is within its rights to fire him because he made the choice of possibly dying from freezing to death or causing other people to die possibly by driving an unsafe vehicle. That’s absurd.”