The responses from Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Al Franken (D-MN) focused on issues that represent big trouble ahead for Trump and his Supreme Court nominee Neal Gorsuch.
Sen. Franken said in a statement, “Long before his election, President Trump promised to appoint a Supreme Court justice in the mold of Antonin Scalia, who held a deeply conservative view of the Constitution and the Court. In the coming weeks, I will be closely examining Neil Gorsuch’s background, but I have serious concerns about his judicial philosophy—especially on issues like access to justice, corporate accountability, workers’ rights, and women’s health. I was hopeful that the President would have selected someone like Merrick Garland, a consensus candidate lauded by the same Republicans who ultimately refused to hold a hearing on him for nearly a year.”
Sen. Sanders said, “The stakes are very high. It is imperative that a new justice be prepared to defend the rights of all Americans, not just the wealthy and large corporations. Our next Supreme Court justice must vote to protect American democracy and keep campaigns free of the corrupting influence of big money, treat workers fairly, safeguard liberties for women and minorities, protect religious freedom and to safeguard the privacy rights of citizens.”
There is a clear pattern in both statements. Democrats are going to Gorsuch’s record on women’s health, money in politics, and worker’s rights. Unlike Merrick Garland, Gorsuch is not a moderate choice. It is difficult to envision any year where Democrats would embrace his nomination.
Big trouble is looming ahead for Trump and his nominee.
Democrats are saying all the right things about questioning Gorsuch and looking forward to his answers, but beneath the surface, the votes lining up against Trump’s nominee are visible.
It is a safe bet that Trump’s nominee doesn’t get to 60 votes in the Senate. The Senate Democratic caucus is more liberal than it has been in recent memory. The questions and reservations expressed by Sanders and Franken illustrate that Gorsuch isn’t the type of Supreme Court nominee that Democrats will support.