Democratic senators pressed Judge Neil Gorsuch on Wednesday to explain his views on issues such as the Constitution’s “emoluments clause” and the notion of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” questions designed to more aggressively probe his independence from President Trump.
Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, declined to answer several questions from Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) on legal concepts Trump’s critics have accused the president of violating.
Leahy also noted Gorsuch has strong support from Trump senior counselor Stephen K. Bannon, whom he accused of “giving a platform to extremists and misogynists and racists.” Another senior Trump aide, Reince Priebus, had said Gorsuch could change potentially 40 years of law, Leahy said.
“What vision do you share with President Trump?” the senator said.
“Respectfully, none of you speaks for me,” Gorsuch said. “I am a judge. I am independent. I make up my own mind.”
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) criticized Gorsuch’s testimony as “pitifully short on substance” in tweets.
“The qualifications for Senate confirmation shouldn’t be skillful evasion of questions, it’s not how the process is supposed to work,” Schumer wrote Wednesday.
“If anyone doubts Judge Gorsuch could be an activist judge with strong conservative views, eschewing interests of average people, look how he was selected.”
You can read the rest at the Washington Post.