Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer on Friday chastised Judge Neil Gorsuch for privately blasting President Donald Trump's criticism of a federal judge and said the commander-in-chief's pick to replace Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court should go public with his displeasure.
"To whisper to a senator but to refuse to say anything public is not close to good enough to show an independence. So from my view, not a good start for Judge Gorsuch. Not a good start," Schumer told The Hill.
During a closed-door meeting with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, Gorsuch called Trump's attacks on Judge James Robart, who blocked an executive order banning immigrants from seven mostly Muslim countries, "disheartening and demoralizing."
Trump labeled Robart a "so-called judge" who made a "ridiculous" and "terrible" decision.
Blumenthal said Thursday that Gorsuch told him to feel free to reveal his feelings about Trump, but that he didn't want to say them publicly.
That's not good enough, according to Schumer.
"What he did does not show independence. It shows an ability to desire the appearance of independence without actually asserting it," he told The Hill's Jordain Carney.
"There is even more reason to do it now because the president . . . tweeted that Judge Gorsuch didn't say those things, as mild as they were."
Of Trump, Schumer added:
"Our president has shown a deeply troubling lack of regard or respect for an independent judiciary," he said. "He criticizes individual judges and the court system in general."
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