President Donald Trump has said that comments by his U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, about Trump's criticism of a federal judge were misrepresented. But Gorsuch's brother, Denver resident J.J. Gorsuch, said the remarks Neil Gorsuch purportedly made in a private meeting are "perfectly in character."
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat who met with the nominee, said Wednesday that Gorsuch described to him as “disheartening” and “demoralizing” Trump’s recent criticism of the court system - a reference to insults the president has levied against a judge who blocked an executive order barring travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
A White House-appointed aide to the Supreme Court nominee confirmed the comments on Thursday, according to published reports.
Trump tweeted on Feb. 4: "The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!"
The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 4, 2017Advertisement
Gorsuch's brother and one of his former law clerks told The Denver Post his comments to Blumenthal were in line with past views.
“He is a lover of the constitution and constitutional law and by definition or by extension, (he is) a huge proponent of the separate but equal powers," said J.J. Gorsuch, his younger brother who lives in Denver. "In that respect, yes, that’s perfectly in character.”
But he added that Judge Gorsuch had respect for tradition, too. “And part of that tradition of the judiciary is not necessarily to defend itself or enter the political fray,” said J.J. Gorsuch - which is why he said it made sense for Judge Gorsuch to say what he did as a "private comment."
Theresa Wardon, a Denver-based attorney who once clerked for Gorsuch, said her former boss "truly believes the separation of powers is extremely important," and in the "independence of the judiciary."
She added: "That is at the core of the way Judge Gorsuch approaches his work as a jurist."