Pat Toomey praises Neil Gorsuch after meeting with him
February 14, 2017 9:26 PM
“It is very clear to me that Judge [Neil] Gorsuch understands the proper role of a judge," Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said Tuesday after meeting with President Donald Trump's nominee for Supreme Court, shown above.
By Tracie Mauriello / Post-Gazette Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON – Democrats should not block the confirmation of well-qualified U.S. Supreme Court nominees such as Neil Gorsuch, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey said Tuesday, despite his earlier objections to another nominee whom he had called smart, knowledgeable and pleasant.
He said last year that Barack Obama nominee Merrick Garland should not be confirmed because the balance of the Supreme Court was at stake, a presidential election was around the corner, and the senator disagreed with an opinion that led to the release of prisoners that the State Department had designated as terrorists.
But Mr. Toomey, R-Pa., has no such concerns about President Donald Trump’s nominee, a judge on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
“It is very clear to me that Judge Gorsuch understands the proper role of a judge. He will apply the law and the U.S. Constitution as they were written, not as someone might wish they had been written,” Mr. Toomey told reporters after he met with the judge Tuesday afternoon on Capitol Hill. “He’s not going to be picking winners and losers based on his personal policy preferences.”
Barring “some completely unanticipated shocking new discovery,” Mr. Toomey said he would vote for Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation.
His pledge came amid Democrats’ threat of a filibuster and fellow Republicans’ counter-threat to change Senate rules so the judge can be confirmed by a simple majority. Currently, the majority needs 60 votes to stop a filibuster. There are 52 Republicans in the Senate.
“No Supreme Court nominee has been filibustered in 50 years, so I hope that we will continue the long-standing tradition of bipartisan support for well-qualified nominees, and Judge Gorsuch is a very well qualified nominee,” Mr. Toomey said.
In 2009, Mr. Toomey supported Obama nominee Sonia Sotomayor, saying at the time that objective qualifications mattered more than ideology.
“I am confident that Judge Gorsuch is up to the task” of sitting on the high court, Mr. Toomey said. “He is dedicated to the principle of originalism, to neutrally applying the law regardless to whatever his personal preferences might be, and he has the character, intellect and experience to make an excellent addition to the Supreme Court.”
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., is scheduled to meet Thursday with Judge Gorsuch. He has not said whether he supports the nomination.
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