A slew of rulings from newly appointed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has Democratic senators griping about his conservative tendencies.
Three Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee lamented to Politico that the junior justice’s first months on the bench have bolstered the Court’s conservative majority.
“We’ve got another Scalia,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif, the ranking Democrat on the committee.
“Right down the line. Everything — everything,” she said of Gorsuch’s conservative rulings. “I’m surprised that it’s so comprehensive.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., argued Gorsuch’s rulings and demeanor show that his behavior during his confirmation hearings was an act.
“In a way, I’m surprised that he hasn’t demonstrated more independence,” he said. “I am surprised because in his demeanor and his tone he really made a huge effort to show his openness — which some of us thought might be more an act than it was a real persona.”
“So far, I have to say, I’m disappointed,” Blumenthal said.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., told Politico that the justice has already proved himself to be a “tool” of the special interests groups.
“It sure looks like I was right,” Whitehouse said. “It’s too early to draw any final conclusions, but the early signals are ominous about him being the tool of the creepy billionaire coalition.”
Some Democrats had believed Gorsuch’s staunch support for religious freedom might have given him pause about President Donald Trump’s travel ban executive order.
Gorsuch, though, joined Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, in arguing that the Court’s ruling Monday that parts of Trump’s travel ban could go into effect did not go far enough.
Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans expressed a starkly different assessment on Gorsuch’s performance thus far.
“He’s fantastic. He’s awesome. I’m a huge fan,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said. “It’s going as I expected and my expectations were high, and I’ve not been disappointed in the least.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said that “I think he is performing as a principled constitutionalist, which is exactly what we hoped for and expected.”
Meanwhile. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., said Gorsuch’s early decisions on the bench were “stretching the thinking of the justices.”
“He’s going to go down in history as one of the great ones,” Tillis said.
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