The Hill reports: Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on Thursday warned that the country is heading toward a “constitutional crisis,” moments after President Trump attacked him for sharing Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s concerns with the president’s attacks on judges.
“I said to Judge Gorsuch and I believe that ordinarily a Supreme Court nominee would not be expected to comment on issues or political matters or cases that come before court, but we’re in a very unusual situation,” Blumenthal said on CNN’s “New Day.”
“We’re careening, literally, toward a constitutional crisis. And he’s been nominated by a president who has repeatedly and relentlessly attacked the American judiciary on three separate occasions, their credibility and trust is in question.”
Blumenthal said the president has also established a litmus test for his nominee to be “pro-life, to be pro-Second Amendment, to be conservative.”
Blumenthal told reporters Wednesday that Gorsuch called Trump’s tweets attacking federal judges “disheartening” and “demoralizing.”
A spokesman for Gorsuch later confirmed to CNN that the judge used the terms when describing Trump’s tweets during his meeting with Blumenthal.
Despite the confirmation by Gorsuch’s spokesman, Trump tweeted Thursday morning that those weren’t the judge’s true feelings.
“Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who never fought in Vietnam when he said for years he had (major lie), now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?” the president tweeted.
Blumenthal on Thursday urged Gorsuch to make his concerns public.
“Behind closed doors, Judge Gorsuch expressed disappointment with President Trump’s attacks on the judiciary, but a Supreme Court Justice must prove that he has the courage and independence to stand up to a President in public,” Blumenthal said.
“I asked Judge Gorsuch to make that statement publicly, and he declined.” [Continue reading…]
When Trump announced his nomination of Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, he made a public display of his ability to push the judge around.
Gorsuch is now showing both a lack of courage and lack of integrity. He is the only person who can confirm, without the possibility of contradiction, his own words and by so doing also that Trump is now, completely without justification, maligning Blumenthal.
Instead, Gorsuch is presenting himself as so desirous of a seat on the Supreme Court and so fearful of the man who offered him the job, that he dare not cross swords with Trump. And yet if he plucked up enough courage to merely confirm what he already said, what’s Trump going to do? Withdraw the nomination? I doubt it. More likely, he’ll brush it off and declare (while gritting his teeth) that it just goes to show how wonderfully independently minded is his pick.
The truth is, when Gorsuch described Trump’s attacks on judges as “disheartening” and “demoralizing,” these were not fighting words, but on the contrary, a rather mealy-mouthed challenge to a president who has very little respect for the U.S. Constitution.