Donald Trump’s pick to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, called the president’s recent bashing of another federal judge “disheartening” and “demoralizing” in a Wednesday meeting with Connecticut senator Richard Blumenthal.
“He said very specifically that they were demoralizing and disheartening and he characterized them very specifically that way,” Blumenthal said after the meeting. “I said they were more than disheartening, and I said to him that he has an obligation to make his views clear to the American people, so they understand how abhorrent or unacceptable President Trump’s attacks on the judiciary are.”
The judge’s spokesperson Ron Bonjean confirmed Blumenthal’s characterization of Gorsuch’s remarks.
In a series of tweets on Saturday and Sunday, Trump attacked U.S. District Court Judge James Robart after he temporarily blocked the president’s ban on refugees and citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries. Trump referred to Robart as a “so-called judge,” accused him of putting “our country in such peril” and wrote that a terror attack, should one happen, should be blamed on Robart and the judiciary.
It will be interesting to see how President Trump responds to this critique, if he does at all. But Gorsuch was not saying what he said to please the president. His audience for these comments was a Democratic senator, and more broadly, all the Democrats in the Senate, who will undoubtedly like what they’ve heard.