Bernie Sanders' Opposition To Neil Gorsuch Is About More Than His Judicial Record
Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch has the confirmation hearings behind him, but that doesn't mean the hard part is over. Gorsuch has met some important opposition, including from major Democratic players like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who called on fellow Democrats to filibuster his nomination. Schumer will certainly find support in Bernie Sanders, who opposes Gorsuch for the Supreme Court — and isn't shy about it.
On Thursday, the Vermont senator sent out a fiery press release, denouncing Gorsuch's responses to senators' questioning and making it extremely clear that he would not support Gorsuch's nomination.
"Americans deserve a Supreme Court justice who respects the rights of workers to be treated fairly instead of bowing to big business," began Sanders' statement. That comment may have been a reference to testimony from Guerino Calemine, general counsel for Communications Workers of America. Calemine cautioned that Gorsuch, based on his record as a judge, would take a “sledgehammer” to workers’ rights, predicting that a Gorsuch appointment would mean “more workers will die on the job.”
Sanders goes on in his statement to point out what are potentially his biggest grievances with the nominee, including Gorsuch's views on campaign finance reform and Citizens United:
We cannot stand by while the court dismantles the Voting Rights Act and lets cowards in statehouses erect roadblocks to voting. We must keep campaigns free of the corrupting influence of big money and not go further down the dangerous path that began with the disastrous Citizens United ruling.
Another major sticking point that stood out to many Democrats was the way Gorsuch answered questions on Roe v. Wade, which Sanders also addressed in his statement:
We cannot risk a court that would put in jeopardy the privacy rights of all Americans and a woman's right to control her body.
It wasn't just Gorsuch's judicial record that appeared to bother the Vermont senator. Sanders explained how that Gorusch' bobbing and weaving during Senate questioning also led to his disapproval:
I had looked forward to Judge Neil Gorsuch sharing his views on the Supreme Court’s critical role on some of the most important issues in America. Instead, he refused to answer legitimate questions and brought the confirmation process to a new low in a thick fog of evasion.
Sanders concluded with a defiant rejection of Gorsuch nomination, stating: "I will not vote to confirm him to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court, and I will not support Republican efforts to change the rules to choke off debate and ram the nomination through the Senate."