Langevin Statement on Nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court Justice

Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) released the following statement in response to the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch as Justice to the Supreme Court of the United States: 

“Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, political pundits, elected officials, and constituents would often remark that one of the most substantial consequences of the election would be the ability to fill at least one seat on the Supreme Court. I agree, and while I take comfort in the fact that Judge Gorsuch was appointed unanimously to the Court of Appeals, I do have concerns with what he will bring to the high court. This is a momentous time for the justices, charged as they are with deciding some of the most significant constitutional questions facing our nation, including, perhaps, the legality of immigration policy that targets Muslim refugees fleeing persecution.

“In announcing the pick, President Trump said he chose a jurist in the mold of the late Antonin Scalia. But while I respected Justice Scalia as a jurist, I also profoundly disagreed with his views on the Constitution. I do not agree that corporations have a right to speak on our elections. I do not agree that love between members of the same sex should have attached to it any ‘moral opprobrium.’ And I certainly do not agree that the Affordable Care Act, which has given millions of Americans health care, is unconstitutional. If Judge Gorsuch shares these extreme views, I would be seriously concerned about his ability to impartially interpret the law, free from the tinge of politics.

“The United States government has three separate but equal branches for a reason – to ensure checks and balances. It is critical that the next Supreme Court Justice answers first to the Constitution, and not to the President. While I do not have a role in the confirmation process, I implore my colleagues in the Senate to subject Judge Gorsuch to a rigorous and thorough vetting process. And to those in the GOP who would criticize attempts to prolong the confirmation process, I would remind them that Merrick Garland’s nomination was tabled for 10 months for purely political reasons. This is too important a decision to rush.

“The power of the Supreme Court is awesome. When I think back to the day when the Obergefell v. Hodges decision came down – the joy and celebration that filled the streets and the heartfelt stories shared by my constituents – I remember just how critical this nomination is for our country. Despite the President’s decision to present this ’prime time’ announcement, this is not entertainment. This is the future of America for all people. For women, people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community, we have made tremendous strides toward greater equality, and we cannot allow the President or the Supreme Court to move us backwards.”