Congressman Adam Smith released the following statement in response to President Trump’s decision to nominate Judge Neil Gorsuch for the vacancy that has been conspicuously vacant for just under one calendar year, due to Republican obstructionism:
February 2, 2017
“The absolute hypocrisy of Senate Republicans calling for ‘regular order’ to fill the Supreme Court vacancy after more than a year is beyond belief. In February of last year, President Obama carried out his constitutional obligation in nominating Judge Merrick Garland, who was denied even the common courtesy of a meeting with Republican leadership in the Senate – let alone a hearing. It seems the Senate Majority Leader has been struck with a sudden case of memory loss, as he now miraculously believes it’s imperative to quickly fulfill the Senate’s explicit Constitutional responsibility to review the new President’s nominee. The appointment of a Supreme Court Justice is an infrequent event of major significance in American government and it is inexcusable that the door was slammed shut on President Obama’s nominee.
“President Trump cannot continue to put campaign promises ahead of bringing together a divided nation. In nominating Judge Gorsuch yesterday, the President has chosen an individual with an alarming history of judicial activism. Gorsuch’s remarks on the Citizens United v. FEC case are serious cause for concern. He would be wise to remember that corporations are not people, and money is not free speech. Furthermore, the opinion he argued in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case shows a deeply disturbing willingness to allow extreme latitude in cases where corporate interests have usurped individual rights.
“Senators swear an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. Although I anticipate Senate Republicans will move quickly in the confirmation process on this nominee, I understand if my Democratic colleagues in the Senate want to afford Judge Gorsuch the same level of courtesy that was afforded Judge Garland.”