Why is each and every nominee of President Donald Trump like this?
The Senate’s top Democrats are extremely concerned about the president’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, who according to Sen. Chuck Schumer, avoided answering questions “like the plague.”
“I thought there was a deliberate strategy to duck the hard questions. And he has an obligation to answer them, not simply to the Senate but to the American people,” Schumer told reporters later.
In fact, the New York senator said Gorsuch even refused to answer general questions.
Schumer noted that he spent a “great deal of time” asking Gorsuch “straightforward and direct” questions.
"Not about specific cases that could come before him or the court but about constitutional principles that would inform his decision making," he said.
Schumer said he refused to answer when he asked what the founding fathers intended with the Emoluments Clause in the U.S. Constitution — a law that prohibits government officials from accepting gifts, cash or anything of value from foreign dignitaries. According to some ethics experts, this same law is being violated by Trump as he has ownership of several hotels where foreign heads of states stay.
Gorsuch also squirmed out of answering questions on whether Trump’s Muslim ban was unconstitutional and his opinion on Trump’s claim of voter’s fraud.
Schumer said it is doubly essential for the Senate to ensure the new Supreme Court nominee is resilient enough to remain independent on the bench, especially in light of the fact that Trump questioned the ability of a Mexican American judge based on his skin color and also slammed a Seattle judge who blocked his travel ban.
Gorsuch will need to win 60 votes to move toward confirmation, but seeing as how Trump’s Cabinet picks have avoided certain defeat, we should brace ourselves for the worst.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Jonathan Ernst