Thursday, September 21, 2017

Democrats oppose Gorsuch, say he rules against workers

In this Jan. 10, 2017 file photo, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

AP LogoBY MARY CLARE JALONICK

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three additional Democrats said Friday that they will vote against Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and will support a filibuster against him.

California Sen. Kamala Harris and Washington Sen. Patty Murray both said that they believe the Denver-based appeals court judge has ruled too often against workers and in favor of corporations. New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall said Gorsuch had failed to convince him he’d be an independent voice against President Donald Trump, who nominated Gorsuch in January.

“The stakes don’t get any higher,” Harris said in a piece in the San Francisco Chronicle. “Some argue that if a nominee has a stellar legal resume, he or she is qualified to sit on the bench and our job is done. I disagree. As U.S. senators, we have an obligation to also examine a nominee’s legal approach and ask whether he or she considers the impact of those decisions on our society and the daily lives of our people.”

Murray said she also is opposing Gorsuch because of “chaos” in Trump’s administration, pointing to his refugee and travel ban blocked by federal courts and an FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections with Russia.

She said those issues have led her to conclude 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.”

Udall echoed those concerns and said Gorsuch failed to win him over when the two met.

Gorsuch “failed to answer questions that are critical for me — his position on the rights of working mothers, whether women can choose their own health care decisions, LGBTQ rights and dark money in our elections, to name a few,” Udall said.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held four days of confirmation hearings this week, including two days questioning Gorsuch. He refused to give his personal views on most any issue, including abortion, campaign finance and others that Democrats questioned him on.

But in response to Democratic criticism, he repeatedly said he has often ruled for the “little guy” over corporations. He said several cases in which he has ruled for corporations over workers “don’t represent the body of my work.”

He also stressed he’d be an independent voice, saying that “no man is above the law.”

Harris, Murray and Udall join several other Democratic colleagues who have said they will vote against Gorsuch, including five Democrats who announced their opposition Thursday. Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer was one of those five, and he also said Democrats would try and block the nominee.

Still, majority Republicans are expected to ensure that he reaches the bench, perhaps before the middle of April.


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