Washington, March 22 (IANS) US President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick Judge Neil Gorsuch has said during his Senate hearing that the President’s attacks on federal judges are “disheartening” and “demoralising”.
Gorsuch once made a reference to Trump’s attacks on federal judges in a private conversation with senators, which was later reported in the media, but he made his latest remarks in his public Senate hearing on Tuesday.
“When anyone criticises the honesty or integrity or motives of a federal judge, I find that disheartening and I find that demoralising,” Gorsuch said, Efe news reported.
When asked if his comment referred to Trump, Gorsuch replied, “Anyone is anyone.”
Gorsuch’s comments respond to the criticism that Trump has publicly launched against federal judges after their ruling against his order which prohibits the entry into the US of refugees and citizens of several Muslim-majority countries.
During the hearing, Gorsuch also assured “I have no difficulty ruling against or for any party other than based on what the law and the facts of a particular case require,” and added that “there’s no such thing as a Republican judge or a Democratic judge — we just have judges in this country”.
Gorsuch, who currently serves on the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, was nominated by Trump to take the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016.
Democratic senators have rejected Trump’s nominee after the Republicans also turned down Judge Merrick Garland in 2016, nominated to replace Scalia by the then-President Barack Obama.
To secure his position in the Supreme Court, Gorsuch needs to win at least 60 votes from Senators, which is an obstacle hard to overcome as there are now only 52 Republicans in the Senate.
Gorsuch, therefore, needs supports from the Democrats.
Although the process may be delayed by the Democrats, the Senate Republicans are likely to eventually reach a simple majority vote.