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A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


Senator Statements

 

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Sen. Peters Statement on President Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee
(Democrat - Michigan) 02/01/17
“Just as President Obama did, President Trump has a constitutional responsibility to nominate Justices to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court, and the U.S. Senate has a constitutional responsibility to consider those nominees. For 293 days, Senate Republicans failed to fulfill that duty by denying President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, the same thorough and public consideration process that they are now urging for President Trump’s nominee. “I take very seriously the Senate’s responsibility to advise and consent on all nominees, and every individual who could be serving on our nation’s highest court deserves to be fully vetted. As President Trump’s nominee moves through the judicial hearing process, I will be carefully reviewing his qualifications to serve on the Supreme Court, which is a pillar of American democracy.”

Sen. Hirono Floor Statement on Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination
(Democrat - Hawaii) 02/01/17
" By firing Sally Yates, the President demonstrated once again that he values loyalty to himself above service to the American people and adherence to the Constitution. This is particularly disturbing as we begin to consider the President's nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to sit on the Supreme Court. I am only beginning to scrutinize Judge Gorsuch's record, but I am very concerned that he will be a rubberstamp for President Trump's radical agenda. You don't have to take my word for it. You only have to listen to what the President has been saying over the past 2 years. In June 2015, then-Candidate Trump told CNN's Jake Tapper that he would apply a pro-life litmus test for his nominees to the Supreme Court. He did it again at a press conference last March, during the third Presidential debate, and shortly after his election. This isn't the only litmus test President Trump promised to apply. In February 2016, President Trump committed to appointing a Justice who would allow businesses and individuals to deny women access to health care on the basis of so-called religious freedom. In February 2016, President Trump told Joe Scarborough he would make upholding the Heller decision on guns another litmus test for his Supreme Court nominee. Like tens of millions of Americans, I am deeply concerned that President Trump applied each of these tests before he nominated Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. In the weeks and months ahead, I will carefully and extensively scrutinize Judge Gorsuch's record. I will question him on his judicial philosophy and how he interprets the Constitution. I will insist he clarify his position on a woman's constitutionally protected right to choose, on voting rights, and the appropriate balance between corporate interests and individual rights. I will do my job as a United States Senator. The American people deserve nothing less from each of us."

Sen. Tester Statement on Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch
(Democrat - Montana) 02/01/17
"In the coming weeks, I will be thoroughly reviewing the qualifications of President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Gorsuch. It's critically important that he has an understanding of the Constitution and is willing to defend it. I look forward to sitting down with Judge Gorsuch, looking him in the eye, asking him tough questions, and finding out if he shares our Montana values."

Senator Gillibrand Statement On President Trump's Nomination Of Judge Neil Gorsuch To U.S. Supreme Court
(Democrat - New York) 02/01/17
“All branches of the federal government should stand on the side of the citizens they were created to serve. The Supreme Court is supposed to be the ultimate arbiter of justice for our citizens. Unfortunately, Judge Gorsuch has proven to have a judicial philosophy outside of the mainstream and time and again has subjugated individual rights to those of corporations. I fundamentally disagree with his ruling that a boss should be able to make family planning decisions for an employee and that corporations are people. I plan to stand up for individuals over corporations and oppose his nomination, and I will insist that his nomination meet a traditional 60 vote threshold.”

Sen. Warren Floor Statement on Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination
(Democrat - Massachusetts) 02/01/17
"Billionaires and corporate giants have launched a full-scale attack on fair-minded, mainstream judges. It has happened at every level of our judiciary, but the best example was the unprecedented blockade of Judge Merrick Garland's nomination to the Supreme Court.... The nomination of Judge Gorsuch is a huge gift to the giant corporations and wealthy individuals who have stolen a Supreme Court seat in order to make sure that the justice system works for them. ...We cannot stand down when the President of the United States hands our highest Court over to the highest bidder, and that is why I will oppose Judge Gorsuch's nomination."

Sen. Klobuchar Statement on the President’s Nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court
(Democrat - Minnesota) 02/01/17
“Senators have a solemn obligation to advise and consent on a President’s nominee for the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court makes decisions that affect the lives of people across the country. We need to thoroughly examine Judge Gorsuch, his respect for precedent, and his views on issues that matter to the American people. I have concerns about his views and record on issues including those involving separation of powers, campaign finance, and consumer protection. This nominee deserves serious scrutiny. And to be clear, there is a 60 vote threshold for this nominee to be confirmed, it’s not 51 like the other nominees that are before us now.”

Sen. Heinrich on Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination
(Democrat - New Mexico) 02/01/17
“After ignoring Judge Garland’s nomination for purely partisan reasons, Senate Republicans are already talking about changing the Senate rules to confirm Trump's nominee if Democrats don’t simply defer. “Given the current climate in Washington, any nominee to the nation’s highest court must have an unshaken commitment to the rule of law, separation of powers, and the rights enshrined in the Constitution. This is a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land, and Judge Gorsuch must be subjected to the highest level of scrutiny. "New Mexicans have made it clear to me that now more than ever they want an independent judiciary committed to defending the Constitution and the rule of law. I agree and any nomination to the highest court in the land should require more than a simple majority vote to ensure as much."

Sen. McCaskill on Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination and potential filibuster
(Democrat - Missouri) 02/01/17
"I believe any nominee to the Supreme Court deserves a confirmation hearing, and the chance to earn 60 votes on the Senate floor," adding that she was going to take a "hard look" at Gorsuch's views and record.

Sen. Donnelly Statement on Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch
(Democrat - Indiana) 02/01/17
“As I have said part of our job as Senators includes considering, debating, and voting on judicial nominations, including to the Supreme Court. I will carefully review and consider the record and qualifications of Neil Gorsuch.”

Sen. Tom Udall on Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination
(Democrat - New Mexico) 01/31/17
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. Van Hollen on potential filibuster of Trump Supreme Court nomination
(Democrat - Maryland) 01/31/17
"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. Cantwell Statement on the Nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court
(Democrat - Washington) 01/31/17
“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. Menendez Statement on Supreme Court Nominee
(Democrat - New Jersey) 01/31/17
“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. MURPHY STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT TRUMP’S SUPREME COURT ANNOUNCEMENT
(Democrat - Connecticut) 01/31/17
“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. Reed Statement on Supreme Court Nomination of Neil Gorsuch
(Democrat - Rhode Island) 01/31/17
“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. Booker Statement on Nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court
(Democrat - New Jersey) 01/31/17
"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) 01/31/17
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) 01/31/17
“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. Catherine Cortez Masto on Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination
(Democrat - Nevada) 01/31/17
"I take my responsibility in the Senate as a check and balance on the president's agenda very seriously, and I believe Judge Neil Gorsuch's views on the issues and his full record deserves to be intensely scrutinized."

Sen. Stabenow on Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination
(Democrat - Michigan) 01/31/17
"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."

Sen. Casey on Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination
(Democrat - Pennsylvania) 01/31/17
“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. Durbin on Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination
(Democrat - Illinois) 01/31/17
“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.”

Sen. Wyden Statement on Nomination of Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court
(Democrat - Oregon) 01/31/17
“The Gorsuch nomination represents a breathtaking retreat from the notion that Americans have a fundamental right to Constitutional liberties, and harkens back to the days when politicians restricted a people’s rights on a whim,” Wyden said. “His opposition to legal death with dignity as successfully practiced in Oregon is couched in the sort of jurisprudence that justified the horrific oppression of one group after another in our first two centuries. No Senator who believes that individual rights are reserved to the people, and not the government, can support this nomination.”

Senator Markey Statement in Opposition to Supreme Court Nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch
(Democrat - Massachusetts) 01/31/17
“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. 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. Manchin on potential filibuster of Trump Supreme Court nominee
(Democrat - West Virginia) 01/31/17
Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), ... said Tuesday — before the nominee was named — that he would support the dilatory tactic if he found the nominee to be out of the mainstream. “I’m not filibustering for the sake of person, I won’t do that,” Manchin said. “I will look at their past findings, their past writings, and how they’ve been involved and make my decision. If I’m against that person, I will vote against them for cloture,” he said. “I’m not going to be voting for cloture and then have 51 votes to get somebody in,” he said.

SEN. MERKLEY STATEMENT ON SUPREME COURT
(Democrat - Oregon) 01/31/17
“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. Feinstein on Supreme Court Nominee
(Democrat - California) 01/31/17
“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. 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."