Yesterday Senator Richard “I served in Vietnam” Blumenthal made some news by discussing his interview with Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.
President Trump’s escalating attacks on the federal judiciary drew denunciation Wednesday from his Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, who told a senator that the criticism was “disheartening” and “demoralizing” to independent federal courts.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Gorsuch made the comments during their private meeting Wednesday, and the account was confirmed by Ron Bonjean, a member of the group guiding the judge through his confirmation process.
As much as Trump might not like to hear it, it seems pretty obvious that Gorsuch has strong feelings on the subject which were made clear to well known gym rat, Senator Ben Sasse.
On Morning Joe Thursday, Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse — arguably the most vociferous anti-Trump conservative voice in American politics — revealed that Gorsuch’s comments are absolutely true.
“Judge Gorsuch and I actually talked about that,” Sasse revealed to Joe Scarborough this morning. “And frankly, he got pretty passionate about it.”
Sasse continued, “I asked [Gorsuch] about the ‘so-called judges’ comment — because we don’t have so-called judges or so-called presidents or so-called Senators — this is a guy who kind of welled up with some energy and he said, ‘Any attack on’ — I think his term to me was — ‘brothers and sisters of the robe is an attack on all judges.’”
The junior Senator from Nebraska furthered by saying, “[Judge Gorsuch] believes in an independent judiciary.”
I’m ambivalent that the raw tribalism expressed in “brothers and sisters of the robe” is actually a good thing or even indicative of judicial independence. It reads to me to be a expression of class loyalty and carries with it the hint that the feelings of judges and their right to be free from criticism is somehow a virtue in a free society especially when a large number of federal judges have no aversion to making law to suit their personal whims. But there is little doubt that this is Gorsuch’s view, whether that is a feature or a bug is up to each person to decide.