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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


Senator Statements

 

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Sen. Kaine Statement On Nomination Of Judge Neil Gorsuch To Serve On The Supreme Court
(Democrat - Virginia) 01/31/17
“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. Catherine Cortez Masto on Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination
(Democrat - Nevada) 01/31/17
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., said she would wait for the confirmation hearing process to determine whether to support or oppose the nominee. Cortez Masto said she would evaluate the nominee on “individual merits and without bias. That’s what I have been doing and will continue to do.” “Any individual who is nominated to serve on the Supreme Court will be making decisions with broad implications for our safety, our rights and our core values as Americans,” she said, “… and I believe Judge Neil Gorsuch’s views on the issues and his full record deserves to be intensely scrutinized.”

Sen. Blumenthal: ‘Serious concerns’ about Gorsuch for Supreme Court
(Democrat - Connecticut) 01/31/17
“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. Manchin Statement on President's Supreme Court Nominee
(Democrat - West Virginia) 01/31/17
“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. Sanders Statement on Supreme Court Nominee
(Independent - Vermont) 01/31/17
“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. Collins: "I am not a proponent of changing the rules of the Senate,"
(Republican - Maine) 01/30/17
Republicans potentially have the power to further change the rules so the minority can't even block a Supreme Court nominee. However, it takes 51 votes in the Senate to employ the nuclear option. And Republicans may not have the votes. Already one Republican — Susan Collins of Maine — says don't count on her vote. "I am not a proponent of changing the rules of the Senate," said Collins on Monday evening. "I hope that common sense will prevail and that we will have a normal process for considering this nominee."

Sen. Schumer Floor Statement: Nomination of Neil Gorsuch
(Democrat - New York) 02/01/16
"Democrats will insist on a rigorous but fair process. There will be 60 votes for confirmation. Any one Member can require it. Many Democrats already have. And it is the right thing to do. On a subject as important as a Supreme Court nomination, bipartisan support should be a prerequisite; it should be essential. That is what 60 votes does. This is nothing new. It was a bar met by each of President Obama's nominations.... Because this President has started out in such a fundamentally undemocratic way, we have to examine this nominee closely. As to the nominee himself, I have serious concerns about how he measures up on these two great issues I just described. First, Judge Gorsuch has consistently favored corporate interests over the rights of working people.... Second, Judge Gorsuch lacks a record demonstrating the kind of independence the Court desperately needs right now. He has shown a tendency to let ideology influence his decisions, criticizing ``liberals'' for turning to the courts to advance policy.... Given that record, I have very serious doubts that Judge Neil Gorsuch is up to the job."