Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement today after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invoked the nuclear option to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court:
“It is an unprecedented and disappointing day in our chamber. Senate Republicans have taken the extreme measure of changing rules and lowered the threshold for confirming Justices to the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, and a seat that will affect every facet of our lives for generations to come.
“After a thorough review of Judge Gorsuch’s Tenth Circuit opinions and closely watching his confirmation hearings, I came to the conclusion that I could not support his nomination. Judge Gorsuch record shows he has consistently favored powerful special interests over the rights of working people. His opinions and dissents illustrate how he narrowly interprets the law in a bubble, with no insight into how the black letter of the law works in real life and affects real people. He has shown no signs that he will stand up to the Trump Administration, or their extreme agenda that puts the wealthy and big corporations before hardworking Americans. Our nation’s highest court requires a judge with an independent legal mind who will uphold our Constitution and the separation of powers. Unfortunately, Judge Gorsuch is not that person.
“A seat of such importance should have required the 60 votes needed for confirmation. With rare exceptions, all Supreme Court nominees in the past 125 years have been confirmed with the support of three fifths of the Senate. Invoking the nuclear option was irresponsible and a far cry from Republicans’ commitment to institutionalism. It is an unprecedented departure from a long-standing tradition of bipartisanship, all but eliminating the minority party’s role in this confirmation process. Changing the rules will fundamentally change the way the United States Senate operates, politicize our courts and could further polarize our country.”