Pelosi Has Some Strong Words For Gorsuch

by Lani Seelinger
Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi may not have any direct say in the matter, but she's definitely not pulling her punches when it comes to her thoughts on Donald Trump Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Pelosi has made her thoughts on Gorsuch very clear, and in short, she's not happy about Trump's pick.

In her official statement on the Gorsuch nomination, Pelosi expresses her beliefs that Gorsuch has shown himself to be "hostile to women's rights", and that his Hobby Lobby decision revealed him to be willing to "single out women’s health for discrimination." These views, she claims, place him "far outside the mainstream of American legal thought." When she appeared at a town hall event on CNN, though, she went even further.

Gorsuch, she claimed, has often come down on the side of corporate America instead of the people. "He’s come down against employees’ rights, clean air, clean water, food safety, safety in medicine and the rest. If you care about that for your children, he’s not your guy," Pelosi said at the town hall. This stance of Gorsuch's is partly just a typical side of American conservatism, prioritizing the freedom of corporations and coming out against government regulations. But as Pelosi points out, those government regulations are often what keep the air clean and the food safe.

As nice as it is to hear Pelosi's support for the rights of her fellow women, though, it's necessary to remember that her voice actually holds little political power in this case. It's the Senate that has to approve Supreme Court nominees, so all Pelosi and the other House Democrats can do is offer their colleagues in the Senate some moral support.

"I come down where the Democrats in the Senate do," Pelosi said, going on to emphasize that the senators should base their actions around the constitution and whether this nominee would continue to uphold it. "That is our litmus test, the constitution of the United States," Pelosi stated.

So while Pelosi's strong stance against Gorsuch is certainly welcome to the women fearing that he could be a threat to their rights, ultimately it all depends on how Senate Democrats decide to proceed. They have indicated that they plan to filibuster the nomination, in essence giving Gorsuch the same treatment that Republicans gave to Obama Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Republicans are getting pretty preemptively angry about that prospect, but Pelosi, it seems, would happy back up her Senate colleagues if they choose to go down that path. And given the popular response on the left that Trump's moves have elicited so far, it seems as though the Democratic base would be on the same page as their leader in the House.