U.S. Senator Bob Menendez released the following statement on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
"I have said many times that, just as the President has the right to put forth a nominee of his choosing to fill this vacancy on the Supreme Court, the Senate has the Constitutional duty to consider his nominee by thoroughly and fairly examining their qualifications and record. I take my Constitutional obligation to advise and consent very seriously, because the decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court affect the lives of every single American.
"I had hoped President Trump would nominate an uncontroversial, mainstream judge to the Supreme Court. Instead, he has chosen a nominee who, after long reflection and in hearing from my constituents, I cannot support.
"In his writings and his career, Judge Neil Gorsuch has shown himself to be far too close to powerful corporations and special interests. I am particularly concerned by his dissent in TransAm Trucking v. Administrative Review Board, where a trucker driving in negative-14 degrees lost the use of his trailer's brakes. When the employer fired the trucker for abandoning the trailer to find heat to save his life, six other judges made the obvious and commonsense conclusion that that firing was illegal. But Judge Gorsuch would have upheld the firing based on an illogical and indefensible reading of the underlying law.
"Other areas of Judge Gorsuch's record also deeply concern me. He praised one of the main architects of the voter identification laws, which are stripping rights away from African-American and Latino voters. He held that corporations' religious rights trump a female employee's right to contraceptive care. He has even taken extraordinary measures to advance his own ideological views and undermine women's access to basic reproductive health care when he requested a sua sponte rehearing in a case that would have blocked funding to Planned Parenthood.
"I asked myself whether Judge Gorsuch would further the ideal of equal justice and give full meaning to our nation's civil rights laws, and whether he would uphold these principles in the face of the current anti-civil rights, anti-immigrant, anti-women and anti-human rights agenda. During his hearing, I had hoped that he would be forthright in his answers, explaining his judicial philosophy while maintaining the future impartiality that all judges must possess. Unfortunately, I found Judge Gorsuch's answers at the hearing to be wholly inadequate.
"Based on his record, judicial philosophy, and indirect and evasive answers during the hearings, I cannot support either cloture or final passage on Judge Gorsuch's nomination.
"The last four judges confirmed to the Supreme Court received more than 60 votes in the U.S. Senate, and there is no reason that Neil Gorsuch shouldn't be held to the same standard. Instead of changing the rules on lifetime appointments that have made the Senate the greatest deliberative body, we should instead work together in a bipartisan manner to find a nominee who is capable of winning a healthy majority in the U.S. Senate."