Cantwell Statement on Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Nomination to U.S. Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court:

“I take very seriously the solemn responsibility of the Senate to provide advice and consent on nominations to our federal courts. If confirmed, Judge Gorsuch will have a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, and his impact on the lives of all Americans cannot be overstated.”

“Judge Gorsuch is commonly referred to as a proponent of originalism and textualism. He believes the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted by following the original intentions of those who drafted it as closely as possible.

“While no one expects Judge Gorsuch to reveal how he would rule on particular cases, during his Senate confirmation hearing he did not give Senators enough background about his judicial philosophy.

“Gorsuch told the Judiciary Committee he recognizes privacy rights. However, his earlier writings on unenumerated constitutional rights contradict this statement.  This contradiction raises questions about what Judge Gorsuch believes, and how and if he will protect critical privacy rights in the future.

“I am also troubled by Judge Gorsuch’s decision in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) case which was recently rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Gorsuch ruled to limit education opportunities for children with disabilities.  He had concluded that to comply with the law the school’s responsibility to the student was to make progress that was merely no ‘more than de minimis’  The Supreme Court held that public schools districts must give students with disabilities the opportunity to make meaningful progress.  This ruling impacts more than one hundred thousand students across Washington state.

“Judge Gorsuch has concluded Chevron vs. NRDC should be overturned. This long-standing precedent known as the Chevron doctrine provides that judges should defer to reasonable agency interpretations of ambiguous statutory language. It allows agencies to get expert input for agency decisions and regulations. Overturning this doctrine could make it easier for courts to overturn important agency decisions protecting public health and the environment.

“Gorsuch has also ruled against women’s rights and LGBTQ rights. He has frequently sided with employers over employees and favored corporate interests over public interests.

“Many difficult issues will come before the court in the months and years ahead. We need a U.S. Supreme Court justice who will stand up for equal justice for all. I still have questions and concerns about Judge Gorsuch. Therefore, I cannot support cloture and will not support the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.”