Feb. 8, 2017 – Supporters of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch were atwitter today about reports that in a meeting with Senator Richard Blumenthal, Gorsuch had called President Donald Trump’s attacks on the federal judiciary “disheartening” and ‘”demoralizing.” Is Gorsuch distancing himself from Trump? As we say on the internet: LOL.
To be clear: Donald Trump’s pattern of attacks on federal judges is more than demoralizing—it’s a threat to the separation of powers and our constitutional system, and it’s hard to imagine a more tepid response than to call them “disheartening.”
Given Trump’s disregard for the Constitution, we need a Supreme Court willing to take a strong stand in support of the rule of law. Faint disapproval doesn’t cut it.
Nor should Gorsuch’s vague disagreement paper over the very real concerns about how independent he’d be on the Courts. Just yesterday, Gorsuch “avoided answers like the plague” when Senator Chuck Schumer pressed him on important issues like the Emoluments Clause. In his current position on the 10th circuit, Gorsuch tried to greenlight the governor of Utah’s clear abuse of executive authority in an attack on Planned Parenthood. And, of course, we can’t forget that Gorsuch was hand-picked by far-right organizations that have long supported the agenda being pushed by the Trump administration—and the excessive executive authority he’s counting on to implement it.
Americans don’t need a rubber stamp for Donald Trump on the Supreme Court. They need someone who will vigorously defend the rule of law.
Judge Gorsuch’s comments about Trump’s attacks on the judiciary are not even the slightest indication that he’s the independent judge we need.