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Leahy: Gorsuch ‘Selected By Extreme Interest Groups,’ ‘Nominated by a President Who Lost the Popular Vote’

During the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch on Monday, Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT) stated that Gorsuch is “a nominee selected by extreme interest groups, and nominated by a president who lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.”

Leahy began by talking about the refusal to hold hearings on Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court, saying, “Some liken it to the action of the tyrannical kings, who claim they have sole control, as one our senators referred to here a few minutes ago. But it was a blockade backed by then candidate Donald Trump. Committee Republicans met behind closed doors and declared that they would surrender the independence of this committee to do the majority leader’s bidding, and they ignored the Constitution in the process. In fact, this unprecedented obstruction is one of the greatest stains on the 200-year history of this committee. The — remember, the Judiciary Committee once stood against a court-packing scheme of a Democratic president, that would have eroded judicial independence, and that was a proud moment. Now, Republicans on this committee are guilty of their own court-unpacking scheme, and the blockade of Chief Judge Merrick Garland was never grounded in principle or precedent.”

He added, “While Senate Republicans were meeting in back rooms to block President Obama’s nominee, extreme special interest groups were also meeting in private, to vet potential Supreme Court nominees for then candidate Donald Trump. I do not know of any other Supreme Court nominee who was selected by interest groups, rather than by a president in consultation with the Senate, as required by the Constitution. Now, Senate Republicans made a big show last year about respecting the voice of the American people in this process. Now, they are arguing that the Senate should rubber stamp a nominee selected by extreme interest groups, and nominated by a president who lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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