I watched several hours of Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing yesterday and kept thinking to myself, “There is no way Democrats are going to block this guy.” Gorsuch was engaging, humble and showed an astounding ability to recall details of cases he where he ruled. He was unflappable in the face of absurd questioning from the likes of Minnesota Senator Al Franken.
During one exchange with Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, he asked Gorsuch about Donald Trump’s attacks on the judiciary. Without naming Donald Trump, he said the following. You can watch the clip here. Skip to 3:40 to see what Gorsuch said:
Este intercambio entre el senador Blumenthal y el juez Gorsuch sobre Trump es formidable. Ver hasta el final pic.twitter.com/Mb3ANsZoPu
— eduardosuarez (@eduardosuarez) March 21, 2017
Gorsuch: When you attack the integrity or honesty…or independence of a judge….their motives, as we sometimes hear……I find that disheartening. I find that demoralizing because I know the truth.
Blumenthal: Anyone including the President of the United States?
Gorsuch replies, Anyone is anyone.
Blumenthal: Because no person is above the law, including the President of the United States?
Gorsuch: That’s right, Senator.
Later on, rather than celebrate his nominee and talk about how great Gorsuch did, President Trump must have gotten word about that exchange. Does he ignore it? Does he just let it go and focus on Gorsuch’s terrific performance?
Of course not. President Trump, at times, has the maturity of a 12-year-old. He said:
“Somebody said I should not criticize judges. O.K. I’ll criticize judges,” Mr. Trump said on Tuesday night at a fund-raising dinner for the National Republican Congressional Committee — reiterating his pique at a federal court judge in Hawaii who last week placed a stay on his second travel order.
You can hear the slap of the palm of Sean Spicer’s hand over his face after that one.
It’s ironic. Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said today; Trump has the chance to be a “great President” in the vein of ‘”Nixon goes to China” or “Reagan goes to the Berlin Wall,” but said he had to rein in his impulses to do that.
So far we’ve seen no evidence Trump will do that and it is only to his detriment.