Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) suggested Tuesday morning that Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch had been bribed, after the Court handed down a 5-4 decision upholding President Donald Trump’s “travel ban” as constitutional.
Gorsuch, who joined the Court’s majority, had “done what his paymasters sent him there to do,” Ellison told CNN.
Ellison, who is deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, had earlier compared the decision in Trump v. Hawaii to the Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott decision, which upheld slavery in the pre-Civil War era:
SCOTUS upholding Muslim/Travel ban is reminiscent of Taney Court’s Dred Scott decision, in which an partisan court reached a discriminatory holding to support a futile attempt at suppressing human dignity. The dustbin of history awaits this one too. https://t.co/FVSYJbbFVw
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) June 26, 2018
He expanded on that criticism in a telephone interview with CNN’s Kate Bolduan, comparing the decision to Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which upheld racial segregation, as well as Korematsu v. United States (1944), which upheld the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II. In his view, the Supreme Court had held the government could enact any racist policy as long as it used the “thin veneer” of national security.
He added: “It just proves one thing: if you steal and rip off a Supreme Court justice, then you can try to jam any kind of nasty racist ugly policy you can down the throats of the American people.”
Ellison was referring to the fact that Senate Republicans had blocked the confirmation of then-President Barack Obama’s appointee, Merrick Garland, to fill the seat vacated by the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016 — and immediately filled that seat with Gorsuch in 2017.
Gorsuch really should not be on the Supreme Court. In my view, he may be there, but he’s not there properly. You know, you can do that. I mean, you can jam in a Supreme Court by denying a sitting president their right to appoint the Supreme Court justice. That’s exactly what happened. And Gorsuch has done what his paymasters sent him there to do. And so it’s a shame, but I just know, and have deep faith, that the best impulses of this country are about liberty, about equality, about religious liberty and freedom, and we’re just not going to stop and we will prevail.
Ellison said the Court majority had “tainted themselves,” but vowed to press ahead, politically: “We’re not daunted … Discrimination and racism will never win in the end. So we’re just — we’re fired up and pushing forward.”
Earlier this month, Ellison announced he would be leaving Congress to run for attorney general of Minnesota.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
This article has been updated to correct the date of the Korematsu decision, which was inadvertently given as 1844 instead of 1944.