Quantcast
Connect with us

Senior Democrat says Trump court pick avoided questions ‘like the plague’

Published

on

The Senate’s top Democrat on Tuesday accused President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick of avoiding answering questions “like the plague” and dodging efforts to gauge his judicial independence during a meeting that deepened his concerns about the nominee.

Neil Gorsuch, the federal appeals court judge from Colorado who the Republican president nominated last week to a lifetime job on the high court, met privately with Senator Chuck Schumer of New York as he continues to try to build support for his confirmation by the Senate.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I thought there was a deliberate strategy to duck the hard questions. And he has an obligation to answer them, not simply to the Senate but to the American people,” Schumer told reporters afterward, referring to Gorsuch.

Schumer said Gorsuch declined to answer questions such as whether a ban on Muslim immigration would be constitutional or comment on what is known as the Emoluments Clause in the U.S. Constitution that bars officeholders from accepting money from foreign powers.

Supreme Court nominees routinely avoid weighing in on pending legal disputes they could end up casting a vote on if confirmed to the job. But Schumer said he was seeking Gorsuch’s views on broader principles, rather than specific cases, that he believed a nominee should be able to answer.

“The judge today avoided answers like the plague,” Schumer told reporters.

ADVERTISEMENT

Schumer said Trump is testing the fundamental underpinnings of U.S. democracy and its institutions.

“These times deserve answers, and Judge Gorsuch did not provide them. I have serious serious concerns about this nominee,” said Schumer, who added that he had not yet made up his mind on whether or not to support Gorsuch.

The shorthanded Supreme Court currently has four liberals and four conservatives, meaning Gorsuch’s confirmation would reinstate a conservative majority.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump’s fellow Republicans control the Senate 52-48 but Schumer insisted that Gorsuch would need to win 60 votes, rather than a simple majority, to move toward confirmation. Democrats can seek to use a procedural maneuver to block a confirmation vote if Gorsuch’s supporters cannot muster 60 votes, although Republicans could change the Senate rules.

Schumer’s questions to Gorsuch followed Trump’s directive to temporarily ban people from seven Muslim-majority countries and any refugees from entering the United States. The ban, which Trump said was needed to protect the United States from Islamist militants, was suspended by a federal judge, pending an appeal by the Trump administration.

His questions about the Emoluments Clause come in light of a lawsuit filed by ethics lawyers accusing Trump of allowing his businesses to accept payments from foreign governments, which is prohibited under that constitutional provision.

ADVERTISEMENT

Democrats argued that it is more important than ever for a Supreme Court nominee to demonstrate judicial independence, citing Trump’s harsh criticism of federal judges who have issued rulings against him.

But Republicans belittled Democratic efforts to discredit Gorsuch.

“If they keep working to paint Judge Gorsuch as a mouth-breathing bald eagle hunter, they’ll embarrass themselves,” said Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who also met with Gorsuch on Tuesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah told Reuters the Democratic questioning of the nominee’s potential independence “flies in the face of everything I know about Judge Gorsuch.” Lee described Gorsuch is “fair, decent, impartial.”

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell and Lawrence Hurley; Additional reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Will Dunham)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Swiss holding ‘funeral march’ to mark disappearance of an Alpine glacier

Published

on

Dozens of people will undertake a "funeral march" up a steep Swiss mountainside on Sunday to mark the disappearance of an Alpine glacier amid growing global alarm over climate change.

The Pizol "has lost so much substance that from a scientific perspective it is no longer a glacier," Alessandra Degiacomi, of the Swiss Association for Climate Protection, told AFP.

The organisation which helped organise Sunday's march said around 100 people were due to take part in the event, set to take place as the UN gathers youth activists and world leaders in New York to mull the action needed to curb global warming.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

UAW strike ‘threatens to upend the economy in Michigan’ — and could destroy Trump’s re-election: report

Published

on

At the end of the first week of a major strike by the United Auto Workers, the employment standoff threatens to upend President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election map, the Chicago Times reported Saturday.

Approximately 46,000 workers have been striking against General Motors.

There are two major threats to Trump's campaign from the strike.

The first is that the strike could cause regional recessions -- threatening Trump's political standing in key Rust Belt states.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Security forces fired live rounds at protesters calling for the ouster of Egyptian president: report

Published

on

Egyptian security forces clashed with hundreds of anti-government protesters in the port city of Suez on Saturday, firing tear gas and live rounds, said several residents who participated in the demonstrations.

A heavy security presence was also maintained in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the epicentre of Egypt's 2011 revolution, after protests in several cities called for the removal of general-turned-president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Such demonstrations are rare after Egypt effectively banned protests under a law passed following the 2013 military ouster of Islamist ex-president Mohamed Morsi.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Investigate and Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image