Feinstein announces opposition to Gorsuch

Greg Nash

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), the senior Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, announced she will oppose President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, Monday. 

“Unfortunately, based on Judge Gorsuch’s record at the Department of Justice, his tenure on the bench, his appearance before the Senate and his written questions for the record, I cannot support this nomination,” she told colleagues before a scheduled committee vote on his nomination. 

A spokesman also said that she will support a Democratic filibuster. 
{mosads}She cited two key opinions from Gorsuch as reasons for her opposition.
She pointed to his opinion in Transam Trucking v. Administrative Review Board in which Gorsuch sided with an employer who fired a trucker who disobeyed an order to stay with a disabled vehicle in subzero weather conditions.

She also criticized his narrow reading of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in Endrew F. v. Douglas County, a 10th Circuit ruling the Supreme Court effectively vacated on March 22.

Feinstein argued that in these decisions Gorsuch “went out of his way to apply his own view of the law,” echoing other Democrats who have faulted the nominee for what they claim was “selective activism.”

Feinstein said Gorsuch’s answers during confirmation hearings were “so diluted with ambiguity” that he declined to express his views on whether longstanding landmark cases were justly decided, such as Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 decision that desegregated schools. 

She also raised concern about Gorsuch’s work at the Justice Department under former President George W. Bush to justify the torture of terrorist detainees.

She said email evidence shows that he knew of “enhanced interrogation techniques” used during the Bush years and played a role in codifying their use.

She noted that when she asked Gorsuch how a signing statement could inoculate the Bush administration from not making changes to interrogation tactics after Congress passed law to prevent the physical abuse of prisoners, Gorsuch replied he was acting as a lawyer at the direction of his client.

That answer did not sit well with Feinstein. 

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