On the floor of the United States Senate this afternoon, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) called his consideration of President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court one of the most critical votes of his career, and vigorously made known his opposition to a judge he said routinely values corporate interests over human interests.
“I have decided to uphold my constitutional duty by opposing Judge [Neil] Gorsuch’s nomination,” Booker said. “I didn’t come to this decision lightly. The next associate justice must understand the importance of judicial restraint and respect for all co-equal branches of government.”
Gorsuch lacks a mainstream perspective, the senator argued, and fails to grasp the basic foundations of the U.S. Constitution.
“The American people need …someone who will protect rights for all and will ensure that the words ‘equal justice under law’ are made manifest in everyone’s lives,” Booker said. “His [Gorsuch’s] judicial philosophy… does not meet this high standard. Judge Gorsuch is truly a well credentialed jurist. [But] a good resume is the beginning not the end point.”
Citing the Constitution throughout his speech, the senator said the words ”We the people’ are the least of Gorsuch’s considerations, arguing that the judge too often prefers corporations to individuals. ‘We the people’ includes a child with disabilities, Booker noted. When one child’s family moved to Colorado, he regressed and his families enrolled him in a private school. When the public school refused to pay for the child’s education, Gorsuch ruled that those administrators acted correctly. “Judge Gorsuch’s misreading of the law should be cause for concern as they are promoting him to the highest court in the land,” Booker said. In the case of a worker fatally electrocuted on the job due to inadequate training, Judge Gorsuch supported the corporation against the individual, Booker argued, hammering the theme of the nominee’s career, he said.
It’s not liberals versus conservatives, but the rights of individuals against powerful interests. “I do not believe Judge Gorsuch possesses this fighting conviction to protect the rights of others – to protect the rights of ‘We the people,'” Booker said.
President Barack Obama’s bypassed nominee Merrick Garland stepped forward as a mainstream jurist who deserved an up or down vote, denied by the GOP, Booker added. In a divisive time, Trump turned to a judicial extreme. “I urge that this justice threatens the ideals that we hold precious,” the senator argued, pressing for a 60-vote threshold in the senate.