News Releases

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), released the follow statement regarding President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch.

“One of the most solemn and consequential duties I have as a United States senator is deciding whether to support a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court. It is a responsibility I do not take lightly. After careful consideration, I will be voting against the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch, and I will oppose a cloture motion ending debate.  

“I have a long-held standard for Supreme Court nominations. I examine a nominee’s record and experience. I want to know whether they meet the basic standards of honesty, ethics, legal qualifications, and a commitment to fairness. I evaluate whether they will be independent and even-handed in deciding cases, and whether the nominee would uphold our rights and our liberties—including the critical right to privacy. And I do everything I can to make sure the values and priorities of Washington state families are addressed in this process.  

“But this nomination is not a normal nomination. First, the process to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court began more than 12 months ago, when President Obama upheld his constitutional duty to nominate a well-qualified nominee, Judge Merrick Garland. Senate Republicans refused to do their job and refused to hold a single hearing. Second, since taking office two months ago, President Trump has demonstrated complete disregard for law, the U.S. Constitution, and the best interests of American families. He continues to try and force through an un-American?, unconstitutional ban on Muslim refugees and immigrants, and he fired an acting Attorney General when she refused to compromise her legal judgment in order to conform to his demands. That chaos, coupled with the cloud of an FBI investigation into the President and his associates, has led me to the conclusion that I cannot trust that President Trump is acting in the best interest of our country or our democracy and that I cannot support moving forward with his choice for the Court.

“I’m further concerned by the unprecedented pace of the Judiciary Committee’s process, which appears to be designed to confirm this nominee on the fastest timeline in recent history, despite the same committee’s unwillingness to even hold a hearing on the vacancy for 12 months following Justice Scalia’s passing.

“But my concerns are not isolated to the process. I also have deep concerns with the nominee.

“Based on his judicial record, his testimony before the Judiciary Committee, and on my one-on-one meeting with Judge Gorsuch, I have concluded that his anti-worker record, his troubling history working on torture policy for the Bush Administration, and his hostility toward upholding disability rights make me unable to support his nomination to the Supreme Court. It’s notable that just this week, while Judge Gorsuch was testifying, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected his prior ruling in a case involving the rights of a student with disabilities to receive a meaningful education.

“I’m also deeply troubled by Judge Gorsuch’s extreme, conservative perspective on women’s health. His inability to clearly state his position on Roe v. Wade sent a chilling message to me and millions of women around this country that he may not uphold, or would work to diminish, their constitutionally-protected rights or access to care. When asked about Hobby Lobby, the case that gave women’s bosses the ability to decide whether they get birth control coverage, Judge Gorsuch was clear he would’ve taken the ruling even further in the wrong direction. That alone is enough to reject this nomination. ?His testimony before the Judiciary Committee regarding Citizens United, in which he incorrectly stated that the Court left Congress the ability to enact commonsense campaign spending limits, strengthens my decision. 

“I would certainly hope that Republicans don’t change the rules to break the long and important precedent of demanding a 60-vote threshold for lifetime appointments to the highest court in the land. If a nominee can’t get 60 votes, you shouldn’t change the rules, you should change the nominee.”

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