Supreme Court pick called Trump's words about judges 'demoralizing': senator

Cheryl Sanders
February 11, 2017

Amid reports that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch called Donald Trump's criticism of the judiciary "disheartening" and "demoralizing," Trump is now attacking the messenger.

Gorsuch's brother and one of his former law clerks told The Denver Post his comments to Blumenthal were in line with past views.

"I said to him if a litigant before your court-and the President of the United States is in fact a litigant right now in the immigration ban cases-said what President Trump said, you would hold him in contempt of court", Blumenthal said.

"Sean Spicer just made it crystal clear that Judge Gorsuch has refused to condemn President Trump's attacks on the judiciary", Matt House, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, said in a statement. And at that point, after some back and forth, he did say he found them to be disheartening and demoralizing.

Blumenthal obtained multiple military deferments to avoid getting drafted into the Vietnam War and ultimately landed in the Marine Corps Reserve and never deployed to Vietnam, though he claimed multiple times he had served in Vietnam.

Conservatives have argued that Gorsuch's comments show his independence from the Trump administration.

The background is that, over the past week, Trump has tweeted repeated harsh criticism against Judge James Robart of Washington state for freezing his executive order blocking refugees and nationals of seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S., and has criticized the court system more generally.

After Chris Cuomo interviewed Blumenthal on CNN's "New Day", Trump tweeted: "Chris Cuomo, in his interview with Sen".

Blumenthal did make misleading statements several years ago about his military service, saying he "served" in Vietnam, when in fact he was stationed in the USA throughout his time in the Marine Reserves during the Vietnam War.

The president's statement came as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals considers his temporary travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries with a history of terrorism: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

His attacks on the judiciary have been widely condemned by many in the legal profession, who say that its independence is an essential part of the US's system of checks and balances.

Sasse said Gorsuch expressed that it was "incredibly disheartening to hear things that might undermine the credibility and the independence of the judiciary".

"And I said, 'Man, that's like big stuff". Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., also confirmed Gorsuch was critical of Trump's personal attacks.

Sasse told MSNBC's "Morning Joe", "Frankly, he got pretty passionate about it".

On Wednesday as he was heading to the Senate chamber to vote, Blumenthal told reporters Gorsuch needs to issue a public condemnation of Trump's attacks of federal judges.

Other reports by iNewsToday