Gorsuch: When Anyone Attacks Integrity of Federal Judge, It’s ‘Disheartening’ – Judges Do ‘Have to Accept Criticism’

During his confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch stated that “when anyone criticizes the honesty or integrity, the motives of a federal judge, I find that disheartening. I find that demoralizing,” but that “judges have to be tough. … We have to accept criticism with some humility.”

Gorsuch was asked by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) about Trump’s criticisms of judges. He answered, “I care deeply about the independence of the judiciary. I can’t talk about specific cases or controversies that might come before me, and I can’t get involved in politics, but I can say a couple of things about that, as you know. The first is, judges have to be tough. We get called lots of names all over the place. We have to accept criticism with some humility. It makes us stronger and better. I take it from my teenaged daughters. I take it from litigants. This process, there has been plenty of criticism. That’s fine. Thomas Jefferson didn’t much like Marbury v. Madison, and he didn’t mind saying so. Presidents have tried to pack the court. That’s part of our constitutional history. We have a First Amendment, people can speak their mind.”

He added, “But Senator…when you attack the integrity or honesty or independence of a judge, their motives, as we sometimes hear, Senator, I know the men and women of the federal judiciary, a lot of them. I know how hard their job is, how much they often give up to do it, the difficult circumstances in which they do it. It’s a lonely job, too. I’m not asking for any crocodile tears or anything like that. I’m just saying, I know these people, and I know how decent they are. And when anyone criticizes the honesty or integrity, the motives of a federal judge, I find that disheartening. I find that demoralizing, because I know the truth.”

Gorsuch was then asked, “Anyone including the president of the United States?” He answered, “Anyone is anyone.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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