President Trump’s harsh words for the federal judges weighing his controversial immigration ban received criticism from an unlikely source: Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee for the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Gorsuch, a federal appeals judge, told Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal that Trump’s attacks were “demoralizing” and “disheartening” for the federal judiciary during their meeting at the Capitol, Blumenthal said Wednesday afternoon.
“I told him how abhorrent Donald Trump’s invective and insults are towards the judiciary. And he said to me that he found them ‘disheartening’ and ‘demoralizing’—his words,” Blumenthal told the Washington Post. A spokesman for Gorsuch told reporters that Blumenthal’s characterization of their discussion was accurate.
The Trump administration has yet to publicly respond to Gorsuch’s remarks. Presidents and their Supreme Court picks don’t always see eye-to-eye on major issues—President Eisenhower later described his nominations of Chief Justice Earl Warren and Justice William Brennan as mistakes, for example. But those differences are rarely aired during the confirmation process, where the nominee still faces a gauntlet of probing questionnaires, private meetings with key senators, and hours of highly publicized hearings.