PHOENIX — President Donald Trump announced Neil Gorsuch as his nomination for Supreme Court Justice on Tuesday, a move met with split reactions along party lines from Arizona lawmakers.
Republicans, including Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, praised the nomination, while Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego vowed to filibuster it in Congress.
The 49-year-old judge serves on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver and has written in favor of courts’ second-guessing government regulations, in defense of religious freedom and skeptically about law enforcement.
In a statement, Trump said Gorsuch has “a superb intellect, an unparalleled legal education, and a commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its text and will make “an incredible Justice.”
Flake, who was in attendance for the nomination, said in a statement Tuesday that Gorsuch “fits the bill” of a “a principled conservative who will interpret the Constitution rather than legislate from the bench.”
“I’ll do whatever I can to see that he receives an up or down vote on the floor of the Senate,” the statement read.
McCain released a statement praising Gorsuch’s nomination, stating his “impressive legal background and judicial career demonstrate he has the right experience and judgment needed to serve on our nation’s highest court.”
“His record of upholding the Constitution and respecting the limited role of the judiciary makes him a fitting choice to fill the seat held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia,” McCain’s statement continued.
This nomination was a big win for Republicans, including McCain, who vowed in October to “be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up.”
Now, after losing the White House and the majority in Congress, Democrats are vowing to do the same to Gorsuch.
Gallego said in a statement released before the nomination that Senate Democrats “intend to filibuster Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.”
“(Senate Majority Leader) Mitch McConnell routinely relied on the power of the filibuster to block President Obama’s pursuit of progress,” the statement read. “Now, Democrats must employ the same tactics to thwart Donald Trump’s authoritarian tendencies and extreme agenda.”
He upheld his stance in a tweet released shortly after the nomination that simply said, “Filibuster, filibuster, filibuster.”
Rep. Andy Biggs, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich and former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer also released statements backing Gorsuch.
Biggs said in a statement that Gorsuch’s nomination was a “a welcome relief to Americans who honor and cherish the original intent of the U.S. Constitution,” while Brnovich and Brewer praised the pick in tweets.
Many of the high-profile Republicans who were in attendance Tuesday night also did not express any worry over the nomination.
House Speaker Paul Ryan called Gorsuch “phenomenal” and said his nomination fulfills Trump’s pledge to “nominate a judge who has a demonstrated loyalty to the Constitution and a strong commitment to life.
McConnell urged Democrats not to block Gorsuch’s nomination, saying he hopes Senate members will show him “fair consideration and respect the result of the recent election with an up-or-down vote on his nomination.”
But Senate Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi demanded the “toughest scrutiny” of Gorsuch, noting his vote in the Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius case, which ruled that “religious freedom” allowed certain companies to opt out of Obamacare’s provisions for no-cost prescription contaception.
“Judge Gorsuch’s record reveals he holds radical views far outside the mainstream of American legal thought,” Pelosi’s statement read. “The consequences of placing President Trump’s justice on the Supreme Court could not be more serious or far-reaching.”
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