Shawn Thew / EPA
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said on MSNBC on Wednesday that Gorsuch should have been more forceful in his disagreement with the president. “To whisper to a senator behind closed doors without condemning, without making a public statement, is not close to enough,” Schumer said.
Trump called the federal judge in Seattle who blocked the order last week a “so-called judge.” U.S. District Judge James Robart was appointed by President George W. Bush.
In a speech Wednesday, the president criticized pointed questions by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a day earlier.
“I don’t want to call a court biased, but courts seem to be so political,” Trump complained during a joint conference in Washington, D.C., of the Major County Sheriffs’ Association and the Major Cities Chiefs Association.
“I listened to a bunch of stuff last night that was disgraceful,” he added. “It was disgraceful.”
The president in an earlier tweet Wednesday had already blamed “politics” in the event the judges don’t rule in his favor.
Trump read a section from the
Immigration and Nationality Act and told the conference room of law enforcement officials, “A bad high school student would understand this. Anybody would understand this.”
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
could rule this week on whether to put on hold Robart’s temporary restraining order, which effectively blocked implementation of the travel restrictions nationwide.
Visa holders rushed to take advantage of the pause. About 60,000 visas that had been canceled were deemed valid after Robart issued his restraining order last week.
Trump has called the order necessary to protect Americans from terrorism. The executive action follows pledges Trump made on the campaign trail for “extreme vetting.” Critics have called the order a “Muslim ban,” which Trump has denied.
Some Senate Democrats, including Schumer, have said they want Gorsuch’s confirmation to require 60 votes. Republicans have a 52-46 majority in the Senate, with two independents.
If Democrats do filibuster the pick, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, could seek a change in Senate rules to prevent a filibuster on Supreme Court nominees, commonly referred to as the “nuclear option” because it would eliminate a longstanding tool of the minority party.
Trump has said that if Democrats do try to block the pick, McConnell
It’s not the first time that Trump has been criticized for comments he made about a judge.
During the presidential campaign, Trump
told The Wall Street Journal that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s “Mexican heritage” is a conflict in his presiding over a fraud case against Trump University.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin,
at the time said “claiming a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment.” Trump in November agreed to settle the Trump University suit for $25 million.