Gorsuch Team: Comments about attacks on judiciary were not specific to Trump Immigration EO


This is ridiculous. What SCOTUS nominee would ever attack the president? 

The buzz overnight is that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch criticized President Trump for attacking the Judge who granted the TRO against the Immigration Executive Order, and also the 9th Circuit.

Both Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal and Republican Ben Sasse said the terms “disheartening” and “demoralizing” were used.

That a nominee (or a Supreme Court Justice) would comment on a case that may come before him in the future struck me as both surprising and unwise.

Trump tweeted that Blumenthal was misrepresenting the nature of Gorsuch’s comments:

Donald J. Trump on Twitter

Sen.Richard Blumenthal, who never fought in Vietnam when he said for years he had (major lie),now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?

Blumenthal portrayed the comments as specific to Trump and the 9th Circuit, while Sasse applied a more general preservation of judicial independence:

Senator Richard Blumenthal: Attacks On The Judiciary Are Dangerous | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., discusses his talk with Judge Gorsuch and Donald Trump’s tweet against him. ” Subscribe to MSNBC: http://on.msnbc.com/SubscribeTomsnbc About: MSNBC is the premier destination for in-depth analysis of daily headlines, insightful political commentary and informed perspectives.

My first instinct was that Gorsuch must have been referring to attacks on the judiciary in general, not on Trump’s comments about the pending 9th Circuit case.

Gorsuch’s team, led by Senator Kelly Ayotte, just confirmed what I suspected. The comments were taken out of context to the extent portrayed as a specific criticism of Trump’s comments on the Immigration EO.

Here is the statement:

Judge Gorsuch has made it very clear in all of his discussions with senators, including Senator Blumenthal, that he could not comment on any specific cases and that judicial ethics prevent him from commenting on political matters. He has also emphasized the importance of an independent judiciary, and while he made clear that he was not referring to any specific case, he said that he finds any criticism of a judge’s integrity and independence disheartening and demoralizing.

Legal Insurrection on Twitter

So @SenBlumenthal et al did in fact misrepresent what Gorsuch said – was referring to attacks on judiciary generally, not this specific case https://t.co/0VMpr8TLAZ

Nancye J. May on Twitter

Exactly what I would expect and also respect from a SCOTUS nominee. He was not commenting on the current issue at 9th Circuit Court. https://t.co/VEeNV6poNH

Via LI