February 16, 2017
Thank you for contacting me regarding President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. I appreciate hearing from you about this issue.
President Trump’s nomination of Judge Gorsuch is meant to fill an opening on the Supreme Court that has been left vacant since the passing of Antonin Scalia in February of last year. President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland–a highly qualified consesus builder–to fill the vacancy, but Senate Republicans blocked consideration of Judge Garland in an unprecedented act of obstructionism. This should not have happened.
I take my constitutional responsibility as a Senator to offer advice and consent on Supreme Court nominees very seriously, and I have begun to closely examine Judge Gorsuch’s background and writings. What I have seen thus far gives me serious concerns about his judicial philosophy–especially on issues like access to justice, corporate accountability, workers’ rights, and women’s health. I was hopeful that the President would have selected someone like Merrick Garland, who as a consensus builder had been lauded by the same Republicans who ultimately refused even to hold a hearing on his nomination for nearly a year.
The Republicans are in the majority and they will hold hearings on Judge Gorsuch in the Judiciary Committee, of which I am a member. As we saw recently with President Trump’s cabinet nominees, such hearings present a good opportunity for the American public to learn about and critically examine a nominee’s views. The public must understand Judge Gorsuch’s views and how he stands to influence the issues that affect our lives every day. The American people deserve to know whether Judge Gorsuch will protect the interests of corporations and the powerful over the rights of individuals, whether he believes that every American deserves to have their day in court, and whether he thinks the government should be able to ensure that the air we breathe is clean and the water we drink is safe. Based on what I have seen so far, I have serious reservations about Judge Gorsuch’s views on these issues, and I intend to ask him tough questions during the hearing.
Thank you again for contacting me and please don’t hesitate to do so in the future on this or any matter of importance to you.
United States Senator