WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democratic Senate leaders refused to meet with Judge Neil Gorsuch Thursday.
The act appears to be revenge against Republicans for holding the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia open and not holding a hearing for Obama Supreme Court appointee Merrick Garland.
The White House requested that Gorsuch meet with Schumer, but aides said he declined in order to learn more about the nominee’s record, The Washington Post reported.
“By refusing to meet with Judge Gorsuch, Senate Democratic leadership is taking Washington gridlock and obstruction to a new low and placing Senators McCaskill, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Tester, and other Democrats up for reelection in 2018 on the endangered politicians list,” Carrie Severino, chief counsel of the Judicial Crisis Network, said in a statement.
She went on to say, “A bipartisan chorus of support has emerged for Judge Gorsuch, a man of extraordinary legal credentials and qualifications, including fromPresident Obama’s former Solicitor General, Neal Katyal. This bipartisan support has put Democratic Senators in a state of confusion and disarray, caught today trying to deceive their constituents about a 60-vote standard that the Washington Post gave two Pinocchios. Senators McCaskill, Donnelly, Heitkamp and Tester represent states that President Trump won by significant margins and these Senators are signing up for a Democratic leadership obstructionist scheme that will lead them to defeat in 2018.”
Meanwhile, several prominent Democrats, including former President Barack Obama’s top counsel and the son of former President Jimmy Carter’s chief of staff, have all endorsed Gorsuch.
Gorsuch came to Capitol Hill Wednesday night and met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Democrats in states where Trump won in 2016 said they would look forward to meeting Gorsuch when he came back to the Hill.
Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester told “Fox and Friends” Thursday morning that his decision on Gorsuch depends on “how he presents himself” and called Gorsuch a “pro” and that he believes the judge will do “a fine job presenting himself.”
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who has said last week he is not a “filibuster kind of guy,” told reporters Wednesday, “I just want to look at some of his judicial findings and rulings.”
He added, “I just think it was absolutely a travesty and embarrassment for the way Merrick Garland was treated.”