Carper Statement on Supreme Court Nomination

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement after President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch, judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, to serve on the Supreme Court.

“This evening, President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch for a seat on the Supreme Court that should have already been filled. Last year, Senate Republicans refused to hold a public hearing on Judge Garland’s nomination after the death of Justice Scalia. They refused to take a vote on Judge Garland’s nomination in the Judiciary Committee or on the Senate floor. Many of them refused to meet with Judge Garland, a good man, an impeccably qualified judge and a consensus builder praised by members of both parties. Judge Garland did not deserve to be treated this way. I cannot and will never forget the 293 days of unprecedented obstruction and political gamesmanship that plagued Judge Garland’s nomination. It was a travesty and one of the more shameful chapters in the history of the United States Senate.

“I believe we should be guided by our principles always, not just when our principles are politically expedient or convenient. Our Constitution spells out the duties for United States Senators to provide advice and consent to Supreme Court appointments, and I will uphold that sacred responsibility, despite my deep frustration that Judge Garland was not provided similar respect. I intend to take a deep dive into Judge Gorsuch’s record in the weeks and months to come. I will evaluate Judge Gorsuch’s credentials in much the same way I evaluated dozens of judges to serve in Delaware’s highly-regarded courts. When considering judicial nominees, I look for individuals from the mainstream who can build consensus from Democrats and Republicans. I look for individuals who are bright and know the law, work hard, follow the Golden Rule and demonstrate excellent judgement, steady judicial temperament and an ability to build consensus on the bench.

“Given President Trump’s actions in defiance of our Constitution and our values during these early moments of his administration, I will also insist that Judge Gorsuch meet and exceed the highest bar before being approved by the United States Senate. My Democratic colleagues will insist on a fair, open and transparent process, and I implore my Republican colleagues to remember that minority rights must be preserved to prevent further politicization of the judiciary.”