WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and member of the Environment & Public Works, Small Business and Finance committees, voted Friday against the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court of the United States. Video of Senator Cardin’s floor statement on the Gorsuch nomination can be downloaded here.
“Advice and Consent of a Supreme Court nominee – someone who could serve for a generation and have a profound impact on the lives of all Americans for decades to come – is one of the most important constitutional responsibilities we have in the Senate. I have tried to understand as much as I can about Judge Gorsuch before voting on this lifetime appointment. I looked for whether he could bring about more consensus on the Supreme Court, which is tasked with addressing some of the most complicated legal problems and questions in our nation. A nominee should represent the values of our Constitution in such a way that allows us to expand, not restrict, the civil rights of all Americans and keep powerful special interests and corporations in check. A justice must live up to his or her judicial oath to ‘administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich.’ After meeting with Judge Gorsuch and thoroughly reviewing his record, I am deeply troubled by his nomination and his potential impact on the Supreme Court.
“Judge Gorsuch’s extensive legal record is peppered with examples of putting corporate interests before working Americans, showing hostility to agency decisions that protect our environment, disregard for women’s health, marginalizing students with disabilities and many more troubling decisions. His ideology could move the country backwards on guaranteeing equal justice under the law for all Americans, putting powerful special interests above individual rights. His activist views and opinions as a judge make it difficult for me to believe he can separate his political views from his legal analysis. He said little of substance at his confirmation hearing that could demonstrate that he would serve as an independent check on this president, who has tested the limits of the Constitution and the separation of powers. And unlike Judge Merrick Garland, who was considered by almost all independent judicial scholars as mainstream, Judge Gorsuch does not enjoy a similar evaluation.
“There is no equivalency between the nomination of Judge Garland, who received the ultimate partisan filibuster from Republicans by not even receiving a hearing or a vote, and Judge Gorsuch, who has been placed onto the Supreme Court only after a Senate rules change, causing lasting damage to the future of the Senate. I therefore could not support this nominee to be an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and was compelled to vote against his nomination.”