President Donald Trump on Tuesday nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, to serve as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
“President Trump abhors independence and in Neil Gorsuch, he nominated the rubber stamp he wants on the Supreme Court. This week, people from every walk of life came together in communities nationwide to tell the President that his overreaching, his bigotry, and his narrow view of what it means to be an American will not be tolerated,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. “Our independent courts, too, have stepped up against presidential overreach. But this president doesn’t like independence from his narrow agenda. He’s tried to delegitimize millions of votes in the last election, minimize the media, and bully anyone who speaks out against his agenda. This nomination is just another play to neuter the independence of the courts.”
Gorsuch was appointed to the Tenth Circuit by George W. Bush in 2006 and has “proven to be a conservative ideologue who has consistently ruled against civil rights, women’s rights, and workers’ rights,” Henderson said.
Gorsuch would fill the seat vacated nearly one year ago when Justice Antonin Scalia passed away. Hours after Scalia’s death, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to hold the seat open until a new president was sworn into office. When President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill the seat in March 2016, Senate Republicans refused to even hold a hearing on his nomination – in the process breaking records for their unprecedented obstruction.
“The president could have nominated an independent or consensus candidate for this seat, someone like Merrick Garland, whose record has proven to be unimpeachable,” Henderson said. “Instead he chose Neil Gorsuch to be a rubber stamp and yet another ‘yes man’ for this administration.”
In an interview with Politico on Wednesday morning, Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he’d like Gorsuch confirmed by the Senate’s Easter recess – currently scheduled to begin on April 10.