Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Calls Attacks on Judges ‘Demoralising’
Expresses disappointment with Trump’s comments about the judiciary in a private meeting
Washi n g ton : Judge Nei l M Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, privately expressed dismay on Wednesday over Trump’s increasingly aggressive attacks on the judiciary, calling the president’s criticism of independent judges “demoralising” and “disheartening”. remarks by Judge Gorsuch, chosen by Trump last week to serve on the nation’s highest court, came as the president lashed out at the federal appellate judges who are considering a challenge to his executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The president called their judicial proceedings “disgraceful” and described the courts as “so political”.
Those remarks followed Trump’s weekend Twitter outburst in which he derided a Seattle circuit court judge who blocked his travel ban as a “so-called judge” whose “ridiculous” ruling would be overturned. Judge Gorsuch expressed his disappointment with Trump’s comments about the judiciary in a private conversation with Senator Richard Blumenthal as he paid courtesy calls on Capitol Hill to build support for his confirmation. An account of the discussion was confirmed by a White House adviser working to advance the Gorsuch confirmation, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to comment.
The spectacle of a Supreme Court nominee breaking so starkly with the president who named him underscored the unusual nature of Trump’s public feud with the judiciary. Speaking to a group of sheriffs and police chiefs on Wednesday, the president said the appellate judges had failed to grasp concepts even “a bad high school student would understand”.
“This is highly unusual,” said Michael W McConnell, a former federal judge who directs the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford University. “Trump is shredding longstanding norms of etiquette and interbranch comity.” McConnell called Mr. Trump’s comments “extremely self-defeating and self-destructive” because of their potential to sway judges to rule against Trump.
“Judges who hear criticism of this sort are not going to be inclined to knuckle under; it’s going to stiffen their spines to be even more independent,” said McConnell, who was nominated to his judgeship by President George W Bush.
Neil M Gorsuch