Washington: US Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch said that President Donald Trump’s tweets about the judiciary were “demoralising” and “disheartening”, the media reported.
In a meeting with Connecticut Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal on Wednesday, Gorsuch, who was nominated last week, took exception to Trump calling a federal judge in Seattle a “so-called judge” after blocking the President’s executive order to temoprarily ban citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, CNN reported.
“He said very specifically that they were demoralising and disheartening and he characterised them very specifically that way,” Blumenthal said of Gorsuch, a federal appeals court judge from Colorado.
“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.”
Gorsuch’s spokesman Ron Bonjean confirmed Gorsuch calling Trump’s tweet about the “so-called judge” “disheartening” and “demoralising” in his conversation with Blumenthal.
Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he brought up examples of Trump’s recent rhetoric, including the tweets and the President’s criticism of the federal court on Wednesday morning before law enforcement officials. That was when Gorsuch expressed disappointment in Trump’s comments, Blumenthal said.
“He didn’t disagree with me on that point”, CNN reported. “I said to him if a litigant before your court — and the President of the United States is in fact a litigant right now in the immigration ban cases — said what President Trump said, you would hold him in contempt of court,” Blumenthal said.
Blumenthal was one of three Democratic senators that Gorsuch met with on Wednesday.
He also sat down with Democratic Senators Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. Trump’s “so-called judge” tweet came after Washington state-based federal Judge James Robart on February 3 blocked Trump’s executive order. The Trump administration has appealed Robart’s temporary restraining order.
A panel of judges from the San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments on Tuesday and is expected to rule this week.