- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch on Wednesday called President Trump’s tweets attacking a federal judge who temporarily halted his travel ban “demoralizing” and “disheartening.”

Mr. Gorsuch, making the rounds on Capitol Hill to meet with senators who will vote on his nomination, made the comments during a private meeting with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat.

“He said very specifically that they were demoralizing and disheartening and he characterized them very specifically that way,” Mr. Blumenthal said. “I said they were more than disheartening and I said to him that he has an obligation to make his views clear to the American people, so they understand how abhorrent or unacceptable President Trump’s attacks on the judiciary are.”

A spokesman for Mr. Gorsuch confirmed the comments were made.

The criticism comes after Mr. Trump took to Twitter in recent days to express his frustration over federal courts that have halted the new “extreme vetting” executive order.

“The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” Mr. Trump tweeted on Feb. 4, adding in another tweet, “What is our country coming to when a judge can halt a Homeland Security travel ban and anyone, even with bad intentions, can come into U.S.?”

On Wednesday, a day after a panel for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals cast a dim view of the policy, Mr. Trump said the court proceedings were “disgraceful.” 

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, has suggested Mr. Trump’s dismissive tweet about U.S. District Judge James L. Robart shows a “disdain for an independent judiciary” and as a result, the bar should be heightened for his Supreme Court nominee.

“These attacks make it more imperative than ever that the Supreme Court prepare to serve as a check on this administration when it overreaches,” Mr. Schumer said.

Mr. Schumer’s spokesman Matt House told The Washington Times that Judge Gorsuch’s comments are not more likely to garner support from the minority leader.

“Given the President’s comments, that a very milquetoast response,” Mr. House said. “Anyone can be disheartened, but the judge has refused to condemn the comments privately or publicly.”

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