‘Very Difficult To Find Any Candidate For The Supreme Court … Any Better Than Neil Gorsuch’

Judge Gorsuch ‘Masterful,’ A ‘Mainstream Nominee,’ ‘Exactly The Kind Of Jurist We Need On The Supreme Court’

SEN. COLLINS: ‘He Is Eminently Well Qualified To Serve On Our Nation's Highest Court’

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “David Frederick — a longtime Democrat and board member of the left-leaning American Constitution Society … may have summed it up best in a recent Washington Post op-ed. ‘The Senate should confirm [Gorsuch],’ Frederick wrote, ‘because there is no principled reason to vote no.’ No principled reason to oppose him—none. As this American Constitution Society member says, there is not one single principled reason to oppose Judge Gorsuch, so it makes sense that Democrats can’t come up with a single substantive reason to oppose him either.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Release, 3/30/2017)

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): “The world had a chance to see--and certainly all of America--during the 20 hours that Judge Gorsuch testified before the Judiciary Committee that he is a superb nominee. He is a person with a brilliant legal mind…. I believe he is one of the most qualified nominees in recent history, to be sure…” (Sen. Cornyn, Congressional Record, S.2019, 3/28/2017)

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): “I shall cast my vote for Judge Neil Gorsuch to be a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. …my conclusion is that he is eminently well qualified to serve on our Nation's highest Court…. If it can be said that Judge Gorsuch would bring a philosophy to the Supreme Court, it would be his respect for the rule of law and his belief that no one is above the law, including any President or any Senator. I am convinced that Judge Gorsuch does not rule according to his personal views, but rather follows the facts and the law wherever they lead him…” (Sen. Collins, Congressional Record, S.2021, 3/28/2017)

SEN. CORY GARDNER (R-CO): “We are looking for mainstream judges with the right temperament and the right philosophy, and that is what Judge Gorsuch has proven time and again in the Tenth Circuit Court--that temperament that we need on the highest Court…. From his opinions, it is clear that Judge Gorsuch is a mainstream nominee who understands the importance of putting personal beliefs aside and applying the law as written. This is why George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley argued that Judge Gorsuch shouldn't be penalized for his past opinions. As he said, ‘the jurisprudence reflect, not surprisingly, a jurist who crafts his decisions very close to the text of a statute and, in my view, that is no vice for a federal judge.’” (Sen. Gardner, Congressional Record, S.2031-2032, 3/28/2017)

SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R-UT): “Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, I would venture to say that it would be very difficult to find any candidate for the Supreme Court in this century who is any better than Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch is going to apply the law as written, not as he conjures up his ideas of what it should be. He is not going to do that. He is going to apply the law as written. He did that as a circuit court of appeals judge on the Tenth Circuit, my circuit. You would be hard-pressed to find a better qualified person. In fact, I do not think you could find a better qualified person for the Supreme Court than Neil Gorsuch. So what is all the whining about? They lost the election.” (Sen. Hatch, Congressional Record, S.2058, 3/29/2017)

SEN. MIKE LEE (R-UT): “Last week the Judiciary Committee, on which I serve, held a week-long series of hearings concerning Judge Gorsuch’s nomination. After listening to the judge’s flawless testimony, after listening to him answer questions from my colleagues for days on end, I am even more convinced than ever that he is exactly the kind of jurist we need on the Supreme Court of the United States.” (Sen. Lee, Congressional Record, S.2063, 3/29/2017)

  • SEN. LEE: “Last week, over and over, Judge Gorsuch affirmed… that it is his job as a judge to interpret and apply the law—not to make it, not to establish policy, but to apply that policy which has already been placed into law by the legislative branch. When you are reading law, the text matters. Our laws consist of words and each word matters. If the law leads to an uncomfortable outcome for the parties, for politicians, or for anyone else in our society, then, it is our job as a Congress—or if it is State law at issue, it is the job of a State legislature—to get the policy right, to fix the policy problem at issue. The judge’s job is to go where the law leads the judge, not to correct the law.” (Sen. Lee, Congressional Record, S.2063-4, 3/29/2017)

SEN. ROY BLUNT (R-MO): “[T]hroughout the hearings last week, Judge Gorsuch proved that he has the knowledge, he has the temperament, and he has the experience to serve on our Nation's highest Court…. Judge Gorsuch said: ‘I have one client, it's the law.’ It is not the little guy. It is not the big guy. It is not the medium-size guy: It is the law. He was asked over and over: Are you going to find for the little guy or the big guy? Well, that is not the judge's job. The judge's job is to read the law so both the little guy and the big guy know when they are in court that this is a country where the rule of law matters.” (Sen. Blunt, Congressional Record, S.2022, 3/28/2017)

SEN. JOHN THUNE (R-SD): “Judge Gorsuch understands the proper role of a judge, and that role is to interpret the law, not make the law; to judge, not legislate; to call balls and strikes, not to rewrite the rules of the game…. ‘A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge,’ Judge Gorsuch said more than once. Why? Because a judge who likes every outcome he reaches is likely making decisions based on something other than the law. That is a problem. Equal justice under the law, equal protection under the law--these principles become meaningless when judges step outside of their role and start changing the meaning of the law to suit their feelings about a case or their personal opinions.” (Sen. Thune, Congressional Record, S.2028, 3/28/2017)

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN): “Mr. Gorsuch may be one of the most remarkably talented nominees in a long, long time … [A]s we approach the vote next week on Neil Gorsuch on the floor of the Senate, … overwhelming Senate tradition requires that whether to approve it should be decided by a majority vote and there should be no attempt by the minority to filibuster the nomination, especially of such a qualified man.” (Sen. Alexander, Congressional Record, S.2036-2038, 3/28/2017)

SEN. MIKE CRAPO (R-ID): “Let’s talk about what Judge Gorsuch testified to under oath. Despite repeated efforts to get him to make commitments about how he would rule or how he would reshape social policy, on his first day, he gave no fewer than eight assurances that he follows the law as a judge. By my count, on the second day, he gave at least 36 assurances that he looks to the law for his rulings. On the third day, it was 29 more times that he was asked and again repeated that he would look to the law for his rulings. That is right. He said at least 73 times that he is committed to the law when he hears a case as a sitting Federal judge. Still, several of my colleagues worried that he had a secret agenda to overturn longstanding legal precedence. Just in case there are some confused, Judge Gorsuch mentioned no fewer than 97 times in these 3 days that he follows precedent as a judge, as he is bound to do. More than 160 times, Judge Gorsuch reminded the Senate and the American public what a proper jurist does: follows the law and the precedent. We even talked about the book he coauthored titled ‘The Law of Judicial Precedent’—942 pages of dedication to following precedent. Maybe the title of the book was confusing to some. During his oral testimony, he said he was dedicated to ‘rul[ing] as the law requires,’ ‘reading the language of the statute as a ‘reasonable person’ would understand it,’ and ‘respect[ing] precedent.’ Just to put all such questions to rest, he assured everyone that he is ‘without secret agenda. None.’ In reviewing his record, it is clear that those who come before Judge Gorsuch receive equal treatment under the law.” (Sen. Crapo, Congressional Record, S.2073, 3/29/2017)

SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R-OH): “[Judge Gorsuch] is also a guy who knows how to find common ground. Listen to these numbers: 97 percent of the cases he has decided were unanimous decisions with the other two judges on the panel. Typically, as you know, these are judges who have been appointed by Presidents who are Republican and Democrat. Finally, he has been in dissent less than 2 percent of the time. So this is a guy who 97 percent of the time is unanimous, and 2 percent of the time he is in dissent. Out of the more than 180 opinions he has written as a judge—180 opinions—only one had ever been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court from the circuit court, and, by the way, that one was affirmed. So this is a guy who clearly knows how to build a consensus, bring people together, and that is needed right now.” (Sen. Portman, Congressional Record, S.2073, 3/29/2017)

SEN. DAVID PERDUE (R-GA): “[Judge Gorsuch’s] testimony last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee was masterful. It absolutely convinced me that he is the man for this job. Judge Gorsuch listened to questions, carefully responded thoughtfully, and he gave an indication into his own demeanor that he would use in the Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch listened to questions carefully over and over. He illustrated the ability to show a balance of judgment, which is what we look for in a lifetime appointment like this. He made it abundantly clear that the role of the judicial branch is to interpret—not to make law but to interpret the law.” (Sen. Perdue, Congressional Record, S.2079, 3/29/2017)

SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): “In this body in 2006, he was put on the Tenth Circuit, a circuit that Oklahoma happens to be in. There was a unanimous vote in the Senate in 2006 for him to join the Tenth Circuit. He was seen as a consistent, solid, mainstream, fair judge. That means Senator Joe Biden voted for him. Hillary Clinton voted for him. Chuck Schumer voted for him. Barack Obama voted for him in 2006. After going through all of his background leading up to this point, since that time, what has happened? Did he leave the mainstream during that time period after he was overwhelmingly voted here, unanimously out of the Senate, to be on the Tenth Circuit? Well, since that time, he has been a part of 2,700 cases in the last decade. Of those 2,700 cases, 97 percent of them were unanimous. In 99 percent of the cases, he was in the majority in those opinions. Only 1 percent of the time he was not in the majority of the decision.” (Sen. Lankford, Congressional Record, S.2079, 3/29/2017)

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY): “The American people want judges who are smart, who are principled, who are fair, and who know that their job is to follow the law, not write the law. The American people know that Neil Gorsuch is exactly that kind of judge, and that is the kind of judge who we should have on the Supreme Court and on every court of the land.” (Sen. Barrasso, Congressional Record, S.2082, 3/29/2017)

SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R-PA): “Character and temperament are extremely important—actually, essential—characteristics for a judge or a Justice. I have heard nobody criticize the character or temperament of Judge Gorsuch, whatsoever. In fact, he has only gotten glowing praise about both his integrity, his character, his temperament, and the way he treats people in his courtroom and throughout his life.” (Sen. Toomey, Congressional Record, S.2082, 3/29/2017)

  • SEN. TOOMEY: “Here is what I think. I really think there are two unpardonable offenses in the minds of our friends and colleagues who are opposing Neil Gorsuch’s nomination. The first is that Judge Gorsuch believes in the rule of law. … I think the second one was that he was nominated by Donald Trump. We have folks in this Chamber who don’t seem to be able to accept that they lost an election, and they are reflexively opposing whatever it is President Trump wants, and apparently they intend for that opposition to continue indefinitely.” (Sen. Toomey, Congressional Record, S.2087-8, 3/29/2017)


Related Issues: Nominations, Supreme Court, Judicial Nominations