Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch distanced himself Wednesday from disparaging comments President Trump has made about the federal judiciary.
In a private meeting with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., the federal appeals court judge called Trump’s attacks “demoralizing” and “disheartening,” a member of his advisory team confirmed. The comments — made during the type of courtesy call that seldom makes news — quickly went viral.
“He certainly expressed to me that he is disheartened by the demoralizing and abhorrent comments made by President Trump about the judiciary,” Blumenthal said.
Trump’s attacks, in tweets and public remarks, began last weekend after a federal district court judge blocked his executive order imposing a temporary travel ban on immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries and refugees. They escalated Wednesday in reaction to Tuesday’s live-streamed oral arguments before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
Gorsuch’s comments were solicited after Trump suggested Wednesday that judges have acted politically — something Gorsuch says he has eschewed in his decade-long career on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.
“I don’t ever want to call a court biased, so I won’t call it biased, and we haven’t had a decision yet,” Trump told a group of sheriffs and police chiefs in discussing the travel ban case pending before the San Francisco-based appeals court.
“But courts seem to be so political,” Trump said, adding, “Right now we are at risk because of what’s happened.”
Previously, Trump had called federal District Judge James Robart of Seattle, who first blocked the travel ban nationwide, a “so-called judge” and said he would be to blame “if something happens.”
Source: USA Today | Richard Wolf