President Donald Trump’s nominee for Justice Scalia’s former seat on the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, on Wednesday called the President’s attacks on federal judges “disheartening” and “demoralizing.”
In a meeting with Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, Gorsuch, who has tried to stay as silent as possible as most nominees do, reportedly took exception to Donald Trump a federal judge in Seattle who issued a restraining order against his executive order a “so-called judge.”
According to the Connecticut Democrat, “He said very specifically that they were demoralizing and disheartening and he characterized them very specifically that way.”
“I said they were more than disheartening and I said to him that he has an obligation to make his views clear to the American people, so they understand how abhorrent or unacceptable President Trump’s attacks on the judiciary are,” he added.
A spokesperson for Gorsuch confirmed to CNN that the judge did indeed expressed concern about Trump’s remarks during the meeting with Blumenthal.
NEWS: Blumenthal telling reporters Neil Gorsuch used the words "demoralizing" & "disheartening" to describe Trump's attacks on judiciary
— Ashley Killough (@KilloughCNN) February 8, 2017
Gorsuch spox Ron Bonjean confirms SCOTUS nom called Trump's "so-called judge" tweet "disheartening" & "demoralizing" in convo w/ Blumenthal
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) February 8, 2017
“Behind closed doors 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 in a later statement.
“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.”
James Robart, the judge who Trump attacked was appointed by former President George W. Bush and confirmed by a 99-0 vote in the U.S. Senate in 2004. Trump tweeted about Judge Robart’s nationwide injunction against his executive order on Saturday, calling him a “so-called judge,” and said that his ruling was “ridiculous and will be overturned.”
The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 4, 2017
On Wednesday, in a speech before the conference of Major Cities Chiefs Association in Washington D.C., Trump escalated his attacks, this time going after the three judge appellate panel that is considering his executive order now.
“I don’t want to call a court biased, so I won’t call it biased,” he said at the conference of Major Cities Chiefs Association in Washington D.C. “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.”
He continued to vent frustration at the legal arguments made by the judges and attorneys on both sides — including those who represent him from the Department of Justice — even reading for the audience a portion of the immigration law that he believes supports his executive order which suspends the U.S. refugee program and immigrants trying to enter the United States from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
Trump said that the law gives him broad powers to control who enters and leaves the U.S. “A bad high school student would understand this. Anybody would understand this,” he said.
“They were talking about things that just had nothing to do with this,” he said referring to the judges’ questions on the legal obstacles and requirements for both sides.
“But I have to be honest that if these judges wanted to, in my opinion, help the court in terms of respect for the court, they do what they should be doing,” he continued. “It’s so sad.”
Trump even bragged about the wording of his executive order calling it “so simple and so beautifully written, and so perfectly written.”