U.S Senator Tammy Baldwin Statement on President Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court Nomination
(Democrat - Wisconsin)
“President Trump took an oath eleven days ago to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, but since he was sworn into office he has pursued a go it alone approach of extremism. With this Supreme Court nomination, President Trump has made it clear he has no interest in being a President for all Americans and that he is intent on creating more division in our country. Instead of putting forward a mainstream nominee for the vacant Supreme Court seat, he has offered someone who will have a hard time earning bipartisan support.
“The importance of the Supreme Court and the decisions they make have a profound effect on the daily lives of all Americans so I will do my job to fully review Judge Gorsuch’s record. I also look forward to meeting with him because I have a number of concerns and questions about his deeply troubling record, particularly his rulings against disabled students, against workers, and against women’s reproductive health care.
“The American people deserve an independent Supreme Court Justice who will protect the constitutional rights and freedoms of all Americans, not someone who will put his own political preferences above the law and legislate President Trump’s far right agenda from the bench of our nation’s highest court. That is the test I will apply as I give fair consideration to this nomination.”
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. 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. Van Hollen on potential filibuster of Trump Supreme Court nomination
(Democrat - Maryland)
"The American public deserves a thorough vetting. People need to make sure that we have a Supreme Court justice who is in the mainstream and ultimately that's why we have a 60-vote requirement to make sure whoever it is can get that consensus," said Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) said before Trump's nominee was announced. "I'm very worried that the person may not fit that pattern, but we need to wait and see."
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. 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. 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. 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."
Senator Hassan Statement on President Trump’s Nomination of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court
(Democrat - New Hampshire)
"The first week of the Trump administration underscored the need for a strong and independent judiciary that will serve as a check on the executive branch. I will thoroughly review Judge Gorsuch’s record throughout the hearing process so that I – and the American people – can determine whether he would protect the civil rights of all Americans and how he would evaluate the constitutionality of executive orders like President Trump's un-American immigration ban.”
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.”
Sen. Hirono Statement on Nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court
(Democrat - Hawaii)
“In his first two weeks as President, Donald Trump has demonstrated minimal tolerance for independent thinking and dissent. I am deeply concerned that his choice for the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, will be a rubber stamp for the President's radical agenda. We owe it to the American people to vet this nominee extensively and exhaustively. In the weeks and months ahead, I will carefully scrutinize Judge Gorsuch's judicial philosophy, his views on a woman's constitutional right to an abortion, his position on voting rights, and his thoughts on the balance between individual rights and corporate power, among other subjects.”
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. MURPHY STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT TRUMP’S SUPREME COURT ANNOUNCEMENT
(Democrat - Connecticut)
“I want a Supreme Court Justice who will fairly interpret the law, uphold the Constitution, and keep politics out of the courtroom. I want a mainstream judge, not an ideological partisan. I’ll take a close look at Judge Gorsuch’s record and judicial philosophy, and ultimately make my decision based on whether he meets those straightforward expectations.”
Sen. Menendez Statement on Supreme Court Nominee
(Democrat - New Jersey)
“Just as the President has the right to put forth a nominee of his choosing to fill this vacancy on the Supreme Court, the Senate has the Constitutional duty to consider his nominee by thoroughly and fairly examining his qualifications and record.
“As a member of the United States Senate, I take this Constitutional obligation seriously because the decisions made by the United States Supreme Court affect the lives of every single American. I plan to carefully and closely review Judge Gorsuch’s entire legal career and judicial record, meet with him personally and determine if his interpretation of our Constitution is representative of long-standing American values. He must prove his dedication to fairness, nondiscriminatory justice, the equal protection of all Americans under the law, and the ideals of this country.
“Most importantly, as a Supreme Court Justice, Judge Gorsuch must demonstrate he understands that the Supreme Court is the main safeguard of our Constitution and must remain an independent, equal branch of government, and no Justice can be beholden to the interests of any one person or group – including those of the president who appoints him.”
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.”
Sen. Merkley will object to simple majority vote on Supreme Court nominee
(Democrat - Oregon)
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said in an interview on Monday morning that he will filibuster any pick that is not Merrick Garland and that the vast majority of his caucus will oppose Trump’s nomination. That means Trump's nominee will need 60 votes to be confirmed by the Senate.
“This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat,” Merkley said in an interview. “We will use every lever in our power to stop this.”... Any senator can object to swift approval of a nominee and require a supermajority. Asked directly whether he would do that, Merkley replied: “I will definitely object to a simple majority” vote.
Sen. Schumer Statement On Meeting With President Trump To Discuss Supreme Court
(Democrat - New York)
“As I’ve said many times, I believe the President should pick a mainstream nominee who could earn bipartisan support for the vacant Supreme Court seat. I reiterated that view in our meeting today, and told him that Senate Democrats would fight any nominee that was outside of the mainstream.”
Sen. Schumer vows opposition to any 'out of the mainstream' Supreme Court pick
(Democrat - New York)
"If the nominee is out of the mainstream, we will do our best to keep the seat open," Schumer, D-New York, told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" of the Supreme Court vacancy .... "I'm hopeful that President Trump may nominate someone who is mainstream and could get bipartisan support," Schumer said. "But if they don't, yes, we will fight it tooth and nail, as long as we have to."
Sen. Democratic Leader Schumer on expiration of Merrick Garland nomination
(Democrat - New York)
“What Senate Republicans did to Judge Garland, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution was appalling. Judge Garland is respected on both sides of the aisle,” Mr. Schumer said through a spokesman. “That he did not even get so much as a hearing will be a stain on the legacy of the Republican Senate.”
Senate Minority Leader Schumer Floor Speech
(Democrat - New York)
"We will hold the President-elect accountable if he doesn’t nominate a mainstream Supreme Court Justice. President Obama nominated a mainstream candidate in Merrick Garland. President-elect Trump should do the same."
Sen. Donnelly on Winfield Ong, Myra Selby, and Merrick Garland judicial nominations
(Democrat - Indiana)
“I am disappointed that the Senate does not plan to hold any more votes this year,” Indiana Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly said. “I strongly supported both Winfield Ong and Myra Selby and pushed the Senate majority to allow them to receive fair and timely consideration. Part of our job as senators is to consider judicial nominations, but ultimately the Republican leadership chose not to hold hearings and votes on many nominees for the lower courts in addition to refusing to consider the nomination of Judge Garland to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.”
Sen. Sherrod Brown on nominations
(Democrat - Ohio)
Democrats argue that some of the president-elect’s more controversial Cabinet picks — such as Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Steven Mnuchin for treasury secretary — demand a thorough public airing.
“They’ve been rewarded for stealing a Supreme Court justice. We’re going to help them confirm their nominees, many of whom are disqualified?” fumed Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). “It’s not obstruction, it’s not partisan, it’s just a duty to find out what they’d do in these jobs.”
Floor Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy
(Democrat - Vermont)
"[F]or the past two years the Republican Party has enjoyed solid majorities in both the House and Senate. They control the schedule and the process. They can decide which legislation to call up for debate, and frankly for all intents and purposes, they can decide whether anything gets done around here.
A good example is the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. If he had been treated like other Supreme Court nominees throughout the entire history of this country, he would have received a hearing and a vote and he almost certainly would have been easily confirmed just as he was when he was nominated to the DC Court of Appeals.
Instead, the Republican leadership did not even give Judge Garland a hearing, much less a vote. The Republican Senators refused to do their job."
Sen. Blumenthal intends to fight hard on Supreme Court battle
(Democrat - Connecticut)
“The next few years likely will shape the future of the Supreme Court for decades to come,” said Blumenthal, Connecticut’s former attorney general, who argued four cases on the state’s behalf before the Supreme Court. “The scrutiny appropriate for these selections will be exacting and demanding, and I intend to be at the forefront.” ... “A nominee who comes before the Judiciary Committee and says, in effect, ‘I’d sweep away the protections of women’s health and the right of privacy’ would face some difficult questioning from me,” said Blumenthal.
Sen. Murphy on Supreme Court vacancy
(Democrat - Connecticut)
“I think we still need to talk about the fact that they essentially stole this Supreme Court seat from President Obama,” said Murphy. “Republicans ended 200 years of precedent by denying (Garland) the right to a hearing and a vote.”
Although payback does not appear to be in the cards, Blumenthal, Murphy and other Democrats promise an exacting probe of any nominee’s legal views, as well as vigilance in the face of the inevitable “confirmation conversion” — backpedaling by nominees on past controversial writings and opinions.