Sen. Schumer Statement on the Nomination of Neil Gorsuch to Serve On the Supreme Court
(Democrat - New York)
"A little more than a week into the Trump presidency, the new Administration has violated our core values, challenged the separation of powers, and tested the very fabric of our Constitution in unprecedented fashion. It is clear that the Supreme Court will be tried in ways that few Courts have been tested since the earliest days of the Republic, when Constitutional questions abounded.
Now more than ever, we need a Supreme Court Justice who is independent, eschews ideology, who will preserve our democracy, protect fundamental rights, and will stand up to a President who has already shown a willingness to bend the Constitution.
The Senate must insist upon 60-votes for any Supreme Court nominee, a bar that was met by each of President Obama's nominees. The burden is on Judge Neil Gorsuch to prove himself to be within the legal mainstream and, in this new era, willing to vigorously defend the Constitution from abuses of the Executive branch and protect the constitutionally enshrined rights of all Americans.
Given his record, I have very serious doubts about Judge Gorsuch's ability to meet this standard. Judge Gorsuch has repeatedly sided with corporations over working people, demonstrated a hostility toward women's rights, and most troubling, hewed to an ideological approach to jurisprudence that makes me skeptical that he can be a strong, independent Justice on the Court.
Make no mistake, Senate Democrats will not simply allow but require an exhaustive, robust, and comprehensive debate on Judge Gorsuch's fitness to be a Supreme Court Justice."
Sen. Bill Nelson's comment on Trump's Supreme Court nomination
(Democrat - Florida)
“The confirmation of a Supreme Court justice is an awesome responsibility that I gladly accept. I will base my decision on a full examination of Judge Gorsuch’s judicial record and his responses to senators’ questions.”
Statement of Sen. Warner on Nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court
(Democrat - Virginia)
“The American people deserve a Supreme Court comprised of justices who faithfully interpret and uphold the Constitution while serving as an independent and vigilant check on the other branches of government. Though I wish the President had taken the time to review a larger set of judicial candidates than the ones recommended by conservative advocacy organizations, Judge Neil Gorsuch has an impressive résumé and academic background. However, his record must be thoroughly vetted to ensure his views and judicial philosophy are not out of the mainstream. I look forward to carefully reviewing Judge Gorsuch’s qualifications before deciding whether I believe he is fit to serve on our nation’s highest court.”
SEN. MERKLEY STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT
(Democrat - Oregon)
“The most fundamental thing that must be understood about tonight’s announcement is that this is a stolen seat. This is the first time in American history that one party has blockaded a nominee for almost a year in order to deliver a seat to a President of their own party. If this tactic is rewarded rather than resisted, it will set a dangerous new precedent in American governance.
“This strategy of packing the court, if successful, could threaten fundamental rights in America, including workers’ right to organize, women’s reproductive rights, and the rights of ordinary citizens to have their voices heard in elections rather than being drowned out by the corrupting influence of dark money from the richest Americans.
“If President Trump were serious about healing the divisions in America and undoing the damage wrought by Senate Republicans last year, he could have named Merrick Garland to fill this seat. Garland is a centrist jurist who is respected on both sides of the aisle. Instead, he doubled down on division by picking an ideological and extreme nominee to satisfy the far right.
“This is a stolen seat being filled by an illegitimate and extreme nominee, and I will do everything in my power to stand up against this assault on the Court.”
Sen. Duckworth on Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination
(Democrat - Illinois)
“I take seriously my constitutional responsibility as a United States Senator to evaluate Judge Gorsuch’s qualifications for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. over the coming weeks, I will thoroughly assess his rulings and writings on a range of issues, particularly on civil and disability rights.
“While I will reserve judgment on Judge Gorsuch’s nomination until his confirmation hearing in order to give my decision the diligence it deserves, I am troubled by his judicial record of undermining the federal government’s ability to protect labor and environmental rights, his hostility toward a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices, and by one of his previous ruling that refused to hold law enforcement accountable for excessive force that led to a young man’s death. I am also concerned by several of Judge Gorsuch’s rulings that would deny students with disabilities the right to a quality public education.
“It is vital that the Supreme Court serve as an independent, objective check on the president and Congress. Judge Gorsuch must prove he can fulfill that duty.”
Sen. Sanders Statement on Supreme Court Nominee
(Independent - Vermont)
“The Supreme Court plays an enormously important role in American life. Unfortunately, in recent years, that role has been largely negative. I look forward to questioning Judge Gorsuch about his positions on the most important issues that impact Vermonters and all Americans and his views on recent Supreme Court decisions.
“In recent years, the disastrous Citizens United ruling opened the floodgates on campaign cash and let corporations and millionaires buy elections. The court tore up the Voting Rights Act and cleared the way for Republican governors and state legislatures to suppress the vote and make it harder for poor people, people of color, young people and senior citizens to vote. This is the court that in a long string of cases was far friendlier to big business than to the needs of workers. This is a court that let Exxon off the hook for $5 billion in fines for a disastrous oil spill in Alaska and stymied efforts to combat global warming. This is a court that has chipped away at a woman's right to control her own body.
“The stakes are very high in terms of the next Supreme Court justice. It is imperative that a new justice be prepared to defend the rights of all Americans, not just the wealthy and large corporations. Our next Supreme Court justice must vote to protect American democracy and keep campaigns free of the corrupting influence of big money, treat workers fairly, safeguard liberties for women and minorities, protect religious freedom and safeguard the privacy rights of citizens.
“I look forward to hearing Judge Gorsuch’s views on these and other critically important issues.”
Sen. Kaine Statement On Nomination Of Judge Neil Gorsuch To Serve On The Supreme Court
(Democrat - Virginia)
“The importance of an appointment to the highest court in the land and the duty of upholding and defending our Constitution demand a higher threshold for confirmation than for any other appointee. The actions of the Trump Administration over the past week raise the stakes to an even higher level. In considering Judge Gorsuch’s nomination and observing his confirmation hearing, I intend to carefully scrutinize his temperament and record, particularly on civil rights and other Constitutional guarantees."
Sen. Kamala Harris on Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination
(Democrat - California)
"I am troubled by the nomination of Judge Gorsuch and will fight to ensure the voice of the American people is heard in this process. The next justice will have a profound impact on money in politics, voting rights, immigrant and women's rights, and more. This SCOTUS seat belongs to the people -- and we need someone who will uphold our civil rights.
Sen. Warren will oppose Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination
(Democrat - Massachusetts)
"President Trump had the chance to select a consensus nominee to the Supreme Court. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, he failed that test.
Instead, he carried out his public promise to select a nominee from a list drawn up by far right activist groups that were financed by big business interests.
Judge Neil Gorsuch has been on this list for four months. His public record, which I have reviewed in detail, paints a clear picture.
Before even joining the bench, he advocated to make it easier for public companies to defraud investors. As a judge, he has twisted himself into a pretzel to make sure the rules favor giant companies over workers and individual Americans. He has sided with employers who deny wages, improperly fire workers, or retaliate against whistleblowers for misconduct. He has ruled against workers in all manner of discrimination cases. And he has demonstrated hostility toward women’s access to basic health care.
For years, powerful interests have executed a full-scale assault on the integrity of our federal judiciary, trying to turn the Supreme Court into one more rigged game that works only for the rich and the powerful. They spent millions to keep this seat open, and Judge Gorsuch is their reward.
Every day, our new President finds more ways to demonstrate his hostility for our independent judiciary, our civil society, and the rule of law. Now more than ever, America needs Supreme Court justices with a proven record of standing up for the rights of all Americans – civil rights, women’s rights, LGBT rights, and all other protections guaranteed by our laws. We don’t need another justice who spends his time looking out for those with money and influence.
Based on the long and well-established record of Judge Gorsuch, I will oppose his nomination."
Sen. Tom Udall on Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination
(Democrat - New Mexico)
I will thoroughly review the record of Judge Gorsuch and listen to the people of New Mexico before deciding how I will proceed with considering his nomination and how I will vote. However, I almost always disagreed with Justice Scalia's opinions and politics, and I believe the nation would be better off with a more mainstream, centrist justice in his seat. President Trump received nearly 3 million fewer votes than Secretary Clinton. He does not have a mandate to appoint an ultra-conservative justice to the nation’s highest court.
The first 11 days of President Trump's administration have made it chillingly clear how critical it is to have an independent judiciary that will evaluate matters on the facts and precedent, rather than a political agenda, and how fundamental the checks and balances in the Constitution are to our democracy. The Supreme Court will consider many weighty issues, and I will be carefully scrutinizing Judge Gorsuch’s record for how he would rule on workers' rights, laws that keep our air and water clean, and preventing discrimination based on race, gender or sexual orientation, among other issues. But President Trump has emphasized that he was choosing a nominee who would carry out his intention to reverse Roe v. Wade. So I want to be clear where I stand: Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land for over 40 years, and I will fight any effort to reverse the law and take away a woman's right to make her own health care decisions."
Sen. Booker Statement on Nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court
(Democrat - New Jersey)
"The Senate's duty to advise and consent does not mean being a rubber stamp, and having begun the process of reviewing Judge Gorsuch's extensive judicial record I have very serious concerns about his nomination.
"Based on what I have read of his past rulings and statements, I believe that Judge Gorsuch's interpretation of the Constitution falls far outside of the mainstream and I question whether he will put the interests of working families in New Jersey and throughout the country before those of big corporations, or adequately protect the rights of women, minorities, and our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. Any Supreme Court nominee must possess a judicial philosophy and track record that promotes the equal rights of all people and shows an understanding of how the Court's decisions impact the lives of everyday Americans -- I will hold Judge Gorsuch and all future nominees to this fundamental standard."
Sen. Schatz Statement On Nomination Of Neil Gorsuch To The Supreme Court
(Democrat - Hawaii)
“Supreme Court nominees should be held to the highest standards, because the Court has the final word on rights that are fundamental to the lives of Americans: our right to privacy, reproductive rights, the right to vote, and equal justice under the law.
“I am disappointed the President has nominated someone who does not appear committed to ensuring these rights and who is outside of the legal mainstream. Judge Gorsuch was picked from a list provided to President Trump when he was a candidate. This list was curated by the Heritage Foundation, an organization dedicated to advancing a radical agenda of the diminishment of individual and civil rights.
“Judge Gorsuch has consistently ruled in favor of corporations over individuals, has undermined women’s rights, and has failed to protect workers from discrimination. I will continue to study his record, and I will pay close attention to his hearing. But this was a missed opportunity to select a mainstream judge who could have garnered bipartisan support.”
Sen. Reed Statement on Supreme Court Nomination of Neil Gorsuch
(Democrat - Rhode Island)
“The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. It is a crucial check on the power of both the executive and legislative branches.
“Senate Republicans did a great disservice to the nation, and this nominee, when they took the unprecedented and extreme step of blocking President Obama’s moderate Supreme Court nominee for nearly a year. As a result, many Americans question this nomination.
“Judge Gorsuch’s record in the lower court suggests he could impose significant new constraints on civil liberties, women’s rights and workers’ rights, and roll back consumer protections and clean air laws. I am concerned that Judge Gorsuch has a tendency to favor the interests of big corporations and special interests over every day Americans.
“The American people deserve an opportunity to learn more about this nominee and whether he is committed to upholding their rights.
“As I stated when Merrick Garland was nominated by President Obama: There is plenty of room for tough questions and respectful debate in this process.
“All of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominees cleared a sixty vote threshold and President Trump’s nominee should adhere to the same standard.”
Sen. Manchin Statement on President's Supreme Court Nominee
(Democrat - West Virginia)
“Senators have a constitutional obligation to advise and consent on a nominee to fill this Supreme Court vacancy and, simply put, we have a responsibility to do our jobs as elected officials. Just as I did when Merrick Garland was nominated, I look forward to evaluating Judge Neil Gorsuch’s qualifications to be a justice on the Supreme Court. I still believe we must evaluate Judge Gorsuch’s record, legal qualifications and judicial philosophy. The Senate should hold committee hearings; Senators should meet with him, we should debate his qualifications on the Senate floor and cast whatever vote we believe he deserves. I look forward to meeting with Judge Gorsuch, examining his record, and making a determination of whether to provide my consent. Just as I have all along, I urge my colleagues to put partisan politics aside and allow the vetting process to proceed.”
Sen. Casey on Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination
(Democrat - Pennsylvania)
“The Supreme Court, under Chief Justice Roberts, has moved far outside the mainstream and has too often favored big corporations at the expense of our workers and middle class families. I am concerned that far right groups presented an edict to Donald Trump when he was a candidate, demanding that he select a nominee from their approved list. These same organizations have pushed for legal rulings that rig the system in favor of big corporations and against workers, stacking the deck against everyday Pennsylvanians.
“The Supreme Court plays a role of unique importance in our democracy and therefore nominees require substantial scrutiny. I will thoroughly review Judge Gorsuch’s record, particularly his appellate decisions and his answers to questions during the hearing and those submitted in writing afterward.”
Sen. Cantwell Statement on the Nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court
(Democrat - Washington)
“The American people deserve a Supreme Court justice who will ensure full protection of all their rights, especially the right to privacy. There is too much at stake – from women’s choice and immigration reform to LGBTQ rights and marriage equality to voting rights and campaign finance reform. I have concerns about Judge Gorsuch's record on a number of important issues. We need a justice who will help move our country forward, not backwards, as part of a Court that recognizes settled law."
“I take my responsibility to provide advice and consent very seriously. I will review Judge Gorsuch’s record thoroughly, follow his nomination hearings closely, and I plan to meet with him to ask my own questions. I will be weighing these considerations along with the comments of my constituents as I consider this nomination.”
Senator Murray’s Statement on President Trump’s Supreme Court Nomination
(Democrat - Washington)
“In his first days in office, President Trump has demonstrated a clear disregard for the law, for the Constitution, and for American values. From his abhorrent and un-American ban on Muslim refugees and immigrants, to his firing of an acting Attorney General who stood up and told him the truth—he has made it clear that he doesn’t just think he is above the law, he has at times shown true disdain for it.
“With so much chaos in the Administration and so many questions surrounding this President’s commitment to the rule of law and the separation of powers—I have serious concerns about moving forward with a Supreme Court nomination at this time and will be joining with those pushing back against jamming this nominee through or rushing a confirmation in any way.
“I am hoping that President Trump pulls back from this chaos and makes it clear that he is truly committed to the rule of law and an independent justice system and judiciary. When and if the time is right, I will evaluate this nominee using the standards I have long used when it comes to Supreme Court nominees—and I would certainly start my process with deep concerns about whether this nominee would be someone who would protect our Constitutional rights and liberties and would respect critical precedents on issues like privacy, workers’ rights, protecting women’s access to health care and upholding Roe v. Wade, and more.”
Sen. King Statement on Supreme Court Nomination
(Independent - Maine)
“My approach to considering Judge Gorsuch’s nomination will be consistent with my approach to considering Merrick Garland’s nomination last year: I will listen to the views he expresses before the Senate Judiciary Committee and carefully evaluate his record to understand his judicial philosophy and temperament. At the end of this process, I will make an independent judgment based on whether or not I believe he will interpret the law in accordance with existing statutes and precedent, and most importantly, in accordance with the Constitution.”
Sen. Feinstein on Supreme Court Nominee
(Democrat - California)
“Evaluating Supreme Court nominees is among our most important responsibilities as senators and over the last few days we’ve seen the importance of an independent judiciary. I’ve repeatedly stated that the next justice must have respect for precedent, be within the mainstream and protect the fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution. Judge Gorsuch has a long record and it will take time to conduct a thorough review.
“I firmly believe the Supreme Court must be a fair arbiter of the law—not simply another political body that makes decisions based on ideology or partisanship. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans have played politics with this seat by refusing to hold courtesy meetings, hearings or even debate on Chief Judge Garland, who had an impeccable 20-year record of service.
“I am deeply concerned that throughout his campaign the president promised to use litmus tests when choosing his nominee. Last October, when asked about the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, then-candidate Trump said ‘That will happen automatically, in my opinion, because I am putting pro-life justices on the court.’
“Then tonight, President Trump declared, ‘I am a man of my word.’ That’s exactly what I’m afraid of. Judge Gorsuch voted twice to deny contraceptive coverage to women, elevating a corporation’s religious beliefs over women’s health care.
“At a time when public trust in our institutions is at an all-time low and our country is bitterly divided, a thorough and fair review is vitally important.”
Sen. Durbin on Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination
(Democrat - Illinois)
“Only 12 days into this administration, we’ve already seen unlawful executive orders blocked by a federal court, and the unprecedented dismissal of an Attorney General for disagreeing with the president. I believe the independence of our judicial system, and especially the Supreme Court, is more critical now than at any time in recent history. That is the context in which I will review this nomination. I will meet with Judge Gorsuch and support a hearing and a vote for him — both of which were denied to an eminently qualified nominee presented by President Obama. The American people need to know what they can expect from this nominee, and that he will protect our fundamental constitutional rights on issues like voting rights, immigration, privacy, and women’s health. In recent years, the court’s decisions have shifted dramatically toward big money corporate interests at the expense of American workers and small businesses — we need a Court that is on the side of Main Street, not Wall Street. This Supreme Court seat does not belong to President Trump or to any political party. It belongs to the American people, and I will work to make sure their voices are heard in this debate.”
Senator Markey Statement in Opposition to Supreme Court Nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch
(Democrat - Massachusetts)
“With President Donald Trump issuing executive orders nearly every day that tear at the very fabric of our democracy, this Supreme Court nomination will be one of the most consequential in our nation’s history. In this administration and into the future, the Supreme Court and its new justice will shape the law on issues that impact every American, from the environment, to reproductive rights, to gun violence prevention.
“President Trump repeatedly promised that he would use an ideological litmus test to select a nominee who would advance a far-right agenda from the bench. President Trump lived up to his word, and the nomination of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch confirms that President Trump wants a Supreme Court Justice who is outside the judicial mainstream. As an Appeals Court judge for more than a decade, Judge Gorsuch has authored or joined opinions that have demonstrated hostility to women’s reproductive rights, commonsense environmental regulations, and the rights of workers, consumers, and the disabled. I will not support the nomination of Judge Gorsuch.
“I am also deeply concerned that President Trump has expressed his desire for the Senate to change the rules governing the threshold vote for confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice nominee. I will fight steps to invoke the nuclear option for Judge Gorsuch’s nomination or any efforts that would further erode the foundational pillars of our democratic process.”
Sen. Cantwell to Vote “NO” on Sen. Jeff Sessions Nomination for Attorney General
(Democrat - Washington)
“I have concerns that as U.S. Attorney General and our country’s chief law enforcement officer, Senator Sessions will not protect Americans’ civil rights. In the past, Senator Sessions blocked efforts to safeguard voting rights, to protect women from domestic violence, and to expand LGBTQ rights. He opposed a woman’s right to choose and called Roe v. Wade a “colossal” mistake. He opposed sentencing and immigration reforms. His testimony on states legalizing and regulating marijuana left questions about the Trump administration’s approach to these issues.
“Given his record, I am concerned that if Senator Sessions is confirmed to be U.S. Attorney General, he and the Trump administration may not uphold current protections for all Americans. Therefore, I will be voting “NO” on Senator Sessions’ confirmation.”
Senator Hassan to Oppose Senator Jeff Sessions’ Nomination for Attorney General
(Democrat - New Hampshire)
“The Attorney General of the United States must be an independent defender of our Constitution who puts the rule of law before all else. After reviewing Senator Sessions’ record, his testimony before the Judiciary Committee, and reports of his influence on the development of President Trump’s backdoor Muslim ban that will make our country less safe, I do not have confidence that Senator Sessions would be an independent Attorney General who would put the rights of all Americans before the whims of this President. I will vote against Senator Sessions’ nomination and urge my colleagues to do the same.”
Sen. Blumenthal: ‘Serious concerns’ about Gorsuch for Supreme Court
(Democrat - Connecticut)
“I have deep, serious concerns about Judge Gorsuch,” Blumenthal said in a statement released minutes after Trump made his Supreme Court announcement Thursday night. “Whatever his credentials are on paper, most important to me are the real-life impacts of his judicial opinions and views. An extreme ideologue on the court will threaten privacy rights, including women’s health care, worker and consumer protections, and public health and safety.”
Blumenthal said he “had reached no conclusion” on Gorsuch, but would support a hearing and a vote on the candidacy – a dig at Republicans who refused to consider Judge Merrick Garland, former Presidnet Obama’s pick for that vacancy, created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
However, Blumenthal said, “iI I conclude that Judge Gorsuch is out of the mainstream, then I will pursue every legal tool available to block his nomination.”
Sen. Durbin calls Trump attorney general nominee Sessions 'wrong person for job'
(Democrat - Illinois)
en. Dick Durbin of Illinois said Tuesday he will oppose President Donald Trump's nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., for U.S. attorney general.... Durbin noted Sessions told him he did not have time to read the unclassified intelligence memo on Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election.
"That is either willful blindness or willful ignorance on his part, not to realize the gravity of this," said Durbin, who holds the No. 2 spot in the Senate's minority party.
"What happened in this presidential election on Election Day was a day that will live in cyber infamy," Durbin said. "This was an attempt by a foreign power, with values inconsistent with the United States, to change the outcome of our election specifically to benefit the current president and to defeat Hillary Clinton.
"He is the wrong person for this job," Durbin said of Sessions. "We need someone with unquestioned strength, values and integrity who at that critical constitutional moment is prepared to stand up to this president, or any president, and say: 'You are wrong, and if you insist on doing this, I will resign.' I cannot picture it."
Sen. Debbie Stabenow: I Have 'Great Concerns' About Gorsuch
(Democrat - Nebraska)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow said Tuesday night she had "great concerns" about President Donald Trump's nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch as a justice of the Supreme Court.
"This is the place where people need to come together, you need to have a mainstream pick," she told MSNBC's "All In With Chris Hayes."
"This is about somebody who will uphold the Constitution and not be ideologically extreme one way or the other…"
"I have great concerns about this nominee," she added. "I'll listen, I'll meet with him. The cases I've seen that he has ruled on I'm very concerned about. But I think the biggest thing is that it needs to be a coming together and you do that with 60 votes."
Sen. Stabenow on Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination
(Democrat - Michigan)
"I mean, first of all, let`s start with the fact that all of President Obama`s Supreme Court nominees were voted in with over 60 votes. And so from my standpoint we need to have a 60-vote threshold just to make sure the person is mainstream. This is the highest court in the land. It affects every man, woman, child, working people, every community that I represent, every family in Michigan. So I want to see a 60-vote threshold, because I think that`s what it deserves. When we change the rules, or had to change the rules in order to make sure the president actually got his cabinet, because of all of the obstruction going on, we purposefully did not change the threshold for the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court, because this is the place where people need to come together, you need to have a mainstream pick, this is about somebody who is going to uphold the constitution and not be ideologically extreme one way or the other. And you do that with 60 votes. So that`s where I`m coming from. I have great concerns about this nominee. I`ll listen. I`ll meet with him. The cases I`ve seen that he has ruled on I`m very concerned about, but I think the biggest thing is that it needs to be a coming together. And you do that with 60 votes."