Last week, spittle-flecked Twitter power user President Donald Trump nominated Colorado judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Gorsuch, for the most part, has remained silent up until now.
As reported by the Washington Post, in comments to Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut during the private meetings held to guide Gorsuch through the confirmation process, the Supreme Court nominee called President Trump’s scathing and immature criticism of the judiciary “demoralizing” and “disheartening.”
The comments Gorsuch was referring to was a tweet over the weekend that referred to the decision made by federal judge James Robart on Friday that placed a temporary hold on the xenophobic travel ban signed into existence via executive order in the first few weeks of Trump’s presidency.
As is his wont, Trump pointed tiny fingers to everyone but himself, placing blame for an imagined terror wrought by immigrants squarely on the shoulders of judges who, by placing temporary restraining orders and the like on the travel ban, are simply doing their jobs. Naturally, this came up in discussion with Gorsuch and he was very clear about how he felt.
“He said very specifically that they were demoralizing and disheartening and he characterized them very specifically that way,” Blumenthal said of Gorsuch. “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.”
As you’ll remember from your middle school civics lessons, the judiciary exists to serve as a valuable check on the power of the executive branch. Donald Trump clearly cut class that day, because his actions indicate that he is intent on autocracy.
Gorsuch, for whatever it’s worth, is taking Trump’s comments seriously. CNN reports that in a meeting with Chuck Schumer Tuesday, he told the senator that “an attack on his fellow judges is an attack on all,” and also said that while judges are used to weathering criticism, they “are no one’s lackeys.”
His upcoming confirmation hearings should be awfully interesting.