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Grassley: Gorsuch Won't Be Able to Talk About Trump Travel Ban

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By    |   Monday, 13 Feb 2017 01:02 PM

President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban will likely come up during Senate confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch, but he won't be able to comment on the matter without recusing himself from the case if it reaches the nation's top court, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said Monday.

"I don't know whether, except for asking questions about it, that he can supplement people's answers very well," Grassley told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" program, explaining that Gorsuch will likely instead talk about how he approaches the law, and how he will be "a judge and not a legislator, and not much beyond that."

That standard, called the "Ginsburg Rule" was set by SCOTUS Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg 25 years ago, with a standard that says "you can't really answer much, so you have to give your approach to the law, your approach to how you see facts interacting with the law, and that's about all you can do," said Grassley.

Gorsuch will also have to emphasize his independence from the executive branch, as demonstrated by comments he made to Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, last week in reaction to President Trump's criticism of the judicial branch of the government.

"He made very clear statements that indicates independence, and he is going to do what judges should do," said Grassley. "He has to be a referee against wrongdoing by the legislative branch and wrongdoing by the executive branch, including President Trump."

Grassley said he has high confidence that Gorsuch will be an objective justice, "more so in his case than maybe a lot of cases I've questioned before our committee."

Gorsuch has written 800 opinions, the senator said, and only two percent have dissents. Further, Gorsuch has participated in 2,700 cases, and of those, less than two percent have had dissents in those cases. He is also not concerned by talk that Democrats could push to require Gorsuch get at least 60 Senate votes for his confirmation.

"This is a person that has such a record," said Grassley. "I gave you statistics and a congenial person, he writes well, very precise in his writing and I think when 100 senators get done talking to him individually, the 60 vote won't be an issue. It shouldn't be anyway. [Justice Samuel] Alito was approved 58-42. [Clarence] Thomas approved 52-48. There is no requirement for 60 votes. And then you also have to remember that {President Bill] Clinton had two nominees, vacancies, [President Barack] Obama two, Republicans didn't filibuster them."

Democrats, though, filibustered one of President George W. Bush's nominees, said Grassley, so since Republicans "haven't filibustered, it seems President Trump should have the same consideration from them and that's a point I'm going to push."

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President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban will likely come up during Senate confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch, but he won't be able to comment on the matter without recusing himself from the case if it reaches the nation's top court,...
chuck grassley, neil gorsuch, talk, trump, travel ban
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2017-02-13
Monday, 13 Feb 2017 01:02 PM
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