April 06, 2017

Udall Statement on Vote Against Confirming Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court

'The Senate Majority should have hit pause on Judge Gorsuch's nomination to find a better path forward for the American people'

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall voted against advancing the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court. After Judge Gorsuch’s nomination failed to reach the 60-vote threshold, Senate Republicans quickly changed Senate rules for confirming Supreme Court nominees, without any Democratic support, to move the nomination forward. A final vote on Gorsuch's confirmation is expected tomorrow, and Udall will again vote no. He released the following statement:

“What was most disappointing about today's events was the lack of cooperation and bipartisanship in the Senate that got us to this point — and the degree of partisanship we will see from here on. Until now, every recent Supreme Court justice has received 60 votes for cloture or confirmation, in part because presidents have worked to nominate justices who were in the mainstream. The Senate Majority should have hit pause on Judge Gorsuch's nomination to find a better path forward for the American people. Instead, Republicans jammed through a Supreme Court nominee who failed to win sufficient bipartisan support at a time when our nation is as divided as I've ever seen it.

“I have always believed that the filibuster should be reserved for extraordinary circumstances, and I believe this is one of those times for three reasons. First, Judge Gorsuch's record shows a stunning lack of compassion for the people his decisions will affect. He refused to state his positions on deeply important issues, like the rights of working moms, allowing women to make their own health care decisions, LGBTQ rights, and the flood of dark money into our elections. Second, Judge Gorsuch has failed to demonstrate any independence from the president who nominated him. I find that particularly disturbing at a time when President Trump’s campaign is under FBI investigation for its ties to the Russian government. Given the cloud of suspicion hanging over his presidency, I do not believe President Trump should be making lifetime appointments to the highest court in the land until the investigation has concluded and he has answered all of the distressing questions facing his administration.

“Third, this was not President Trump’s seat to fill. We cannot forget the unprecedented steps Senate Republicans took to bring us to this point. The Republican Majority shattered Senate tradition for purely partisan reasons, completely denying President Obama’s nominee for this seat, Judge Merrick Garland, a hearing and a vote. I proposed a good faith solution to restore legitimacy to the court and fix this injustice. But Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans have shown no interest in healing the deeply partisan wound they have inflicted on our institutions and our nation.”