High court nominee Gorsuch 'disheartened' by Trump remarks in immigration fight

By Doug G. Ware   |   Feb. 8, 2017 at 9:06 PM
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Feb. 8 (UPI) -- The man nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court said Wednesday he's disappointed by comments the president has made amid the ongoing legal battle over his immigration travel order.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Ct., said after a meeting Wednesday with federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch that the high court nominee was discouraged by Trump's remarks recently that slammed a federal court that weighed in on the controversial order to ban immigrant and refugee travel to the United States.

"My strong hope is that he will be more vehement publicly," Blumenthal said. "He certainly expressed to me that he is disheartened by the demoralizing and abhorrent comments made by President Trump about the judiciary."

A spokesman for Gorsuch confirmed that the judge did indeed make the statements, Politico reported.

In a series of tweets last week, Trump criticized a federal judge in Seattle who blocked his order nationwide with a temporary restraining order.

"The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!" one of the president's tweets said.

"Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system," another stated.

The Seattle decision last Friday immediately followed a preliminary ruling by a Boston appellate judge that refused to extend an earlier injunction against Trump's order.

The security order temporarily bars U.S. entry for refugees worldwide and immigrants from seven largely Muslim countries, until Trump's administration can make threat assessments for a permanent visa and travel policy.

The Justice Department argued to an appellate court Tuesday that Trump's order was made in the national interest and should not be subject to judicial review.

Gorsuch was nominated to fill the Supreme Court seat vacated by the death of Antonin Scalia a year ago. He faces opposition from Democrats in the Senate, though, who remain upset that former President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, was never given a hearing by Republicans in the upper chamber.

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