Lawmakers, policy groups weigh in on President Trump's Supreme Court pick

Posted at 7:54 PM, Jan 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-01 00:56:10-05

Lawmakers and policy groups around the state and country spoke out Tuesday night, weighing in on President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court vacancy.

At 49, Neil Gorsuch is the youngest Supreme Court nominee in a quarter-century. He's known on the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals for clear, colloquial writing, advocacy for court review of government regulations, defense of religious freedom and skepticism toward law enforcement.

Check out statements from Arizona lawmakers and nationwide groups below.

Arizona Democratic Party

In typical Trump fashion, and not surprisingly, he has decided to fill the stolen SCOTUS pick with an individual that's a dream judge for big business. Judge Neil Gorsuch judicial track record speaks for itself - over the years, he has used his judicial authority to side with big corporations and screw over the working people, something this President knows all too well. He will undoubtedly be given a free pass by Arizona Senators Flake and McCain as they salivate over his "Breitbart-esque" résumé, but this just demonstrates that this President, in no way shape or form, is on the side of the hard-working American people.

Arizona Republican Party

Tonight, President Trump fulfilled one of his biggest campaign promises to the American people by selecting Neil Gorsuch, a mainstream conservative to serve on the United States Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch is an outstanding choice. While there is no replacing Justice Antonin Scalia, I am proud that President Trump has chosen a distinguished jurist who will be another strict constructionist on the Court. I am also very proud that our two United States Senators are enthusiastically supporting Judge Gorsuch. I urge his swift confirmation by the Senate.

Sen. John McCain

I am pleased by President Trump's nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch's impressive legal background and judicial career demonstrate he has the right experience and judgment needed to serve on our nation's highest court. Moreover, his record of upholding the Constitution and respecting the limited role of the judiciary makes him a fitting choice to fill the seat held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Throughout my time in the Senate, I have supported Supreme Court nominees of presidents from both political parties. Elections have consequences, and out of deference to the newly elected President's selection and in the tradition of the U.S. Senate, I am looking forward to a fair and thorough nomination process and a vote on this highly qualified nominee.

Sen. Jeff Flake

Nominating Supreme Court justices is one of the most consequential acts a president can take, and providing advice and consent is one of the Senate's most vital roles. Filling Justice Scalia's seat with a principled conservative who will interpret the Constitution rather than legislate from the bench should be our top priority. I am confident that Judge Neil Gorsuch fits the bill, and I'll do whatever I can to see that he receives an up or down vote on the floor of the Senate.

National Abortion Federation

We need a Supreme Court justice who will honor established precedent, including the constitutional right to privacy and Roe v. Wade. That Justice is not Neil Gorsuch. Judge Gorsuch has been described as "a predictably socially conservative judge who tends to favor state power over federal power and a member of a group of judicial appointees "as good a College of Judicial Cardinals as the conservative and pro-life movements have ever seen." He is a far-right jurist who would overturn basic and well-established principles of American law. President Trump promised to put forth a nominee who would oppose Roe v. Wade. We should take him at his word. With an Administration that wants to overturn Roe and abortion opponents in control of the House and Senate, the stakes are extremely high for women's health and safety. Americans overwhelmingly believe that Roe should be upheld and will not tolerate retreating to the days when women had to sacrifice their lives and health to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. We urge Senators to carefully scrutinize the record of Neil Gorsuch, and vote against this nominee, who could jeopardize the lives and health of American women.

Americans United for Life

Neil Gorsuch's nomination shows that President Trump values the legacy of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, and is dedicated to ensuring that the Supreme Court is staffed by jurists who respect the Constitution, not by politicians who vote with their policy preferences. Justice Scalia understood that a judicial commitment to the original meaning of the Constitution and the intent of the Framers is necessary in order to preserve our representative government, and the record of Neil Gorsuch demonstrates a similar dedication to constitutional originalism." In a speech to law students last spring, Gorsuch stated that "The great project of Justice Scalia's career was to remind us of the differences between judges and legislators," which is a distinction that other Supreme Court Justices have unfortunately neglected to embody, especially when it comes to abortion-related decisions. Educated at Columbia, Harvard Law, and later at Oxford University, Gorsuch's academic background includes experience as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justices Bryon White and Anthony Kennedy, an attorney with the Department of Justice, and his 10 years' experience on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. During his tenure on the 10th Circuit, Gorsuch argued in favor of respecting the conscience rights of both Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor when they objected to the coercive contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act. In his book The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, Gorsuch eloquently argues that it "is incompatible with the promise of equal justice under law that any of us should feel at liberty to sit in judgment to decide who is and who is not entitled to the benefits of" being treated as "fully human," and that "human life qualifies as a basic good [and] it follows that we can and should refrain from actions intended to do it harm. Such actions, after all, by their very definition evince a denial of life's innate worth." As the legal arm of the pro-life movement, Americans United for Life's expertise on constitutional issues has led the Senate Judiciary Committee to rely on the testimony of our experts during the confirmation hearings for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Justice Elena Kagan. We look forward to once again having the opportunity to provide the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee with our expert legal analysis of Neil Gorsuch's record as the confirmation process advances in the upcoming weeks.