Washington, D.C. — Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the senior member and former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke Thursday on the Senate floor about the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court.
“Neil Gorsuch has no intention of governing, of being any kind of master of the Constitution or of the people. He is instead an impartial judge, the kind who follows rather than controls the law. He will be the kind of Justice that America needs on the Supreme Court,” Hatch said.
Watch video in the media player top of this report.
Hatch’s 18-minute speech came as President Donald Trump insisted that comments by his Supreme Court nominee criticizing Trump’s own attacks on the judiciary were “misrepresented,” even as Republican and Democratic lawmakers vouched for the veracity of the remarks.
Over the weekend, Trump labeled a judge who ruled on his executive order a “so-called judge” and referred to the ruling as “ridiculous.”
Neil Gorsuch said in private meetings with lawmakers on Wednesday that the president’s comments about federal judges were “disheartening.”
Hatch, for his part, used his time on the Senate floor to focus on Gorsuch, his qualifications and pending nomination to the U. S. Supreme Court.
“Judge Gorsuch is an impartial judge. He knows that he is to interpret, but cannot make, the law. He knows that the Constitution must control judges, not the other way around. Judge Gorsuch is exactly the kind of judge America needs on the Supreme Court,” Hatch said.
“The task before us is to determine whether Judge Neil Gorsuch is qualified to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Qualifications for judicial service include both legal experience and judicial philosophy, and I believe we should look at a nominee’s entire record for evidence of these qualifications.”
Read the full text: Sen. Hatch’s remarks on Neil Gorsuch.
Even as drama unfolded at the White House, Gorsuch himself, a mild-mannered Denver-based appellate judge, continued to traverse the corridors of the Senate office buildings across from the Capitol, paying courtesy calls to senators while ignoring reporters’ questions.
GOP Sen. Susan Collins of Maine was full of praise after meeting with Gorsuch, adding that while she hadn’t asked him to reiterate his concerns about Trump’s attacks on the judiciary, “I am confident that Judge Gorsuch could be, will be, an independent judge.”
The Associated Press and Office of Sen. Orrin Hatch contributed to this report.