Gorsuch: Trump’s attack on judges ‘demoralizing’

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Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, on Wednesday called the president’s tweets attacking federal judges “disheartening” and “demoralizing.” 

A spokesman for Gorsuch confirmed to CNN that he expressed concern about Trump’s remarks during a meeting with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), after Blumenthal first told reporters about the nominee’s reaction.

In a later statement, Blumenthal urged Gorsuch to make his concerns known. 

“Behind closed doors, Judge Gorsuch expressed disappointment with President Trump’s attacks on the judiciary, but a Supreme Court Justice must prove that he has the courage and independence to stand up to a President in public. I asked Judge Gorsuch to make that statement publicly, and he declined,” Blumenthal said.

“If he wants the American people to believe that he is truly independent, Judge Gorsuch must tell them in no uncertain terms that President Trump’s attacks are not just disappointing – they are abhorrent and destructive to our Constitutional system – and he must condemn them publicly.”

Blumenthal also said that he found Gorsuch’s answers to his questions “noncommittal,” and said he still has concerns that Gorsuch may “rubber stamp President Trump’s destructive policies.”

On Saturday, Trump ripped the “so-called judge” who halted his executive action on immigration and refugees on Twitter, saying that the ruling was “ridiculous and will be overturned.” 

{mosads}Federal Judge James Robart, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush and approved by a 99-0 Senate vote in 2004, issued an immediate nationwide restraining order last week against Trump’s executive order, which had cut off citizens from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the U.S. 

Trump has fought the decision since, and the Department of Justice has appealed the ruling.

The president on Wednesday also went after the panel of appeals judges considering his challenge to Robart’s decision. 

“I don’t want to call a court biased, so I won’t call it biased,” Trump said at a gathering of the Major Cities Chiefs Association in Washington. “Courts seem to be so political and it would be so great for our justice system if they could read a statement and do what’s right.”

Lawmakers from both parties and political observers have condemned Trump’s attack on the judiciary.

Trump last week announced his nomination of Gorsuch to fill the Supreme Court seat that has been vacant for nearly a year, since Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016. Former President Barack Obama had nominated Merrick Garland for the bench, but Senate Republicans refused to hold hearings or votes on Garland, insisting that the seat not be filled until after the presidential election.

Tags Barack Obama Richard Blumenthal

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