House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi torched President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, as “a very hostile appointment” and someone who is “well outside the mainstream of American legal thought” in a televised town hall on Tuesday.
During the live event on CNN, Pelosi painted Gorsuch as a judge who is “hostile to women’s reproductive rights,” chooses to side with “felons over gun safety” and has handed down rulings that strip the rights of autistic children.
Gorsuch, a conservative federal judge on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, was chosen by Trump to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February last year.
After Scalia’s death, congressional Republicans blocked President Barack Obama’s choice of Merrick Garland as his replacement.
“When Justice Scalia passed away suddenly last February, I made a promise to the American people,” Trump said in announcing his choice inside the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday night. “If I were elected president, I would find the very best judge in the country for the Supreme Court.”
Pelosi’s event aired immediately after Trump’s live announcement, and she was quick to attack his nominee’s record.
“Elections have ramifications, and here is a living, breathing example of it,” Pelosi said. “The president, in his first appointment to the court and hopefully his only appointment to the court, has appointed someone who has come down on the side of corporate America versus class-action suits on securities fraud; he’s come down against employees’ rights, clean air, clean water, food safety, safety in medicine and the rest. If you care about that for your children, he’s not your guy.”
“What saddens me the most as a mom and a grandmother, though, is his hostility toward children in school, children with autism,” Pelosi said. “He has ruled that they don’t have the same rights under the [Individuals With Disabilities Education Act] that they could reach their intellectual and social advancement under the law — he has said that doesn’t apply to them.”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) February 1, 2017
Though House lawmakers do not have a say in the confirmation hearings, Pelosi’s clearly researched barbs against Gorsuch’s record offer a potential preview of Democratic lines of attack as the Colorado federal jurist goes through Senate review.
A handful of senators, including Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Ed Markey, D-Mass.; and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., have already announced their opposition to Gorsuch.
Pelosi urged her fellow Democrats in the Senate to apply the “strongest scrutiny” to Trump’s pick.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said he has “serious doubts” about whether Gorsuch should be confirmed and suggested that he’s willing to filibuster Trump’s pick.
Pelosi also lashed Trump over his controversial executive order temporarily banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries — calling it a “decoy, decoy, decoy, decoy.”
— CNN (@CNN) February 1, 2017
“Our president is reckless, reckless, and his administration is incompetent,” she said. “How and why they did this is because they are grand illusionists. Anytime they have a problem with something, they create another problem.”
Pelosi was also asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper to weigh in on Trump’s voter fraud claims.
“My response was, ‘I feel sorry for you. You’re the president of the United States, and you’re so insecure,” she said.
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