WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans stood united behind President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
They’re bracing for a months-long fight with Democrats over a conservative judge similar in philosophy to the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell immediately praised Gorsuch, saying he “has an impressive background and a long record of faithfully applying the law and the Constitution.” Other Senate Republicans echoed his comments.
Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman issued a statement in support of President Trump’s nomination, saying, “I welcome the nomination of Judge Gorsuch to serve as the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.”
“The job of a Supreme Court justice is to fairly and impartially apply the law, and to protect the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, not to advance public policy goals by legislating from the bench,” Portman said. “Judge Gorsuch has an outstanding record as a fair-minded, independent, and universally-respected judge.”
“I look forward to considering his nomination as he goes through a fair and thorough evaluation process.”
Democrats signaled they won’t simply go along, insisting that Gorsuch prove to them he is a “mainstream” nominee. Democrats are still furious with the way Republicans treated former President Barack Obama’s nominee for the open seat last year, refusing to even grant a hearing or a vote to Judge Merrick Garland in Obama’s final year in office.
Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown issued a statement on Tuesday night, saying, “The people of Ohio deserve Supreme Court Justices who will defend the rights of working families over Wall Street and corporate special interests – and Judge Gorsuch’s record doesn’t pass that test.”
“I cannot support any nominee who does not recognize that corporations are not people,” Brown said. “The Supreme Court has enormous influence over the lives of everyday Ohioans, and any nominee must be willing to defend their rights to make their own healthcare decisions, collectively bargain for safe workplaces and fair pay, and to be protected from discrimination and Wall Street greed.”
In Ohio, Republican Party Chairman Jane Timken also issued a statement, saying, “I applaud President Trump’s selection of mainstream conservative Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the United States Supreme Court.”
“President Trump promised to appoint someone in the mold of Justice Scalia and I am confident that Judge Gorsuch will fit that mold by faithfully upholding the Constitution, protecting our individual rights, and preserving the idea of limited government,” Timken said.
She also called on Senator Brown to cross party lines and approve President Trump’s nominee when the time comes.
“I strongly urge Senator Sherrod Brown not to engage in efforts to delay or obstruct a vote on Judge Gorsuch,” Timken said. “Senator Brown said last year that obstructing the confirmation process of a Supreme Court nominee is disrespectful to the voters, the President and the Constitution.”
“The voters have spoken, and Senator Brown should respect the will of the American people.”