U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today spoke on the U.S. Senate floor about the importance of confirming Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Earlier today, Daines participated in a discussion at the White House with tribal nations on Judge Gorsuch’s strong judicial record on cases pertaining to federal Indian law, including support for tribal sovereignty and religious freedom.
The following tribal nations and groups were represented at the meeting: Navajo Nation, Chickasaw, Central Council of Tingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Choctaw Nation, Caribou Tribe, Native American Rights Fund, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation and the National Congress of American Indians.
The U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary will begin Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing on Monday.
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Daines remarks as prepared are below:
“One of the most important jobs a U.S. Senator has is providing the constitutionally required advice and consent for a U.S. Supreme Court nominee. An Associate Justice for the Supreme Court can serve an average of 27 years.
“That’s why a decision on who to vote for, who to stand behind, and who to stand with is so important – not only to me but to our children and grandchildren.
“The people want a Supreme Court Justice who doesn’t legislate from the bench.
“The people want a Supreme Court Justice who upholds the rule of law and follows the Constitution.
“The people want a Supreme Court Justice with a record of constitutional jurisprudence and legal restraint to match Justice Antonin Scalia’s.
“The people want a Supreme Court Justice with the academic credentials who is well-prepared to serve the American people on our highest court.
“When President Trump announced that he was appointing Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, the American people knew he was a supreme pick.
“He is a brilliant legal mind who understands the role a judge plays in our judicial system: to interpret the law and not legislate from the bench. On the night he was announced, I was thrilled to hear him say, ‘A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge, stretching for results he prefers rather than those the law demands.’
“Judge Gorsuch has impeccable legal qualifications that demonstrate he will be the type of justice that every American deserves on our nation’s highest court. He graduated from Harvard Law School as a Harry Truman Scholar with honors in 1991. He earned his undergraduate degree from Columbia University in 1988, attended Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar and received his Doctorate in Philosophy in 2004.
“He has clerked for Justice Byron White and Justice Kennedy of Supreme Court of the United States. And in 2006, Judge Gorsuch was nominated by President George Bush to the Tenth Circuit in Denver, Colorado – he was confirmed without any opposition including with the support of 11 current Democrat U.S. Senators. Some of those Democrats included Harvard Law classmate Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and the current Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“During his time as a Judge on the Tenth Circuit he has built a solid reputation as a respected jurist with a distinguished record. He has a consistent record of defending the Constitution, including respecting the separation of powers, federalism and the Bill of Rights to protect every American from government overreach and abuse.
“When I had the opportunity to sit down with Judge Gorsuch, we spoke about the role of government and federalism, the Second Amendment, protecting life and upholding our civil liberties.
“We spoke of our shared Western values: mine as a native Montanan, his as a native Coloradoan. Both Westerners. I know, he understands our way of life and Montana values his face lit up as he talked about love of the outdoors and his passion for hiking and fishing. As Chairman of the Western Caucus it’s important to have someone who understands Western Values.
“Judge Gorsuch understands the impact that the law and his decisions have on the West. As westerners we fight to protect our 4th Amendment rights. We champion federalism so that power not expressly given to the federal government in the Constitution is returned to States and the people.
“We will tirelessly fight to protect the Second Amendment. These are Western values, and Judge Gorsuch’s background and record strongly suggest that he recognizes and adheres to these values.
“He will uphold the law and rightfully check the Administration and Congress when their actions are not done under law– like President Obama’s Clean Power Plan or WOTUS Rule– actions that cripple western economies and are politically charged.
“I’d also like to mention, that Senator Gardner and I were just at the White House meeting with over a dozen tribes who represent hundreds of other tribes. We were all there to discuss our support for Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court Justice. It was great to be there with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai (CSKT) Tribes from Montana who endorsed Neil Gorsuch. They understand that we need a mainstream, commonsense Westerner on the Supreme Court, and one who will rule fairly on Indian Country matters.
“Most importantly, the American people deserve nine members on the Supreme Court. Neil Gorsuch is the mainstream judge the American people want and deserve to fill out the Court.
“I’d like to thank my colleague Cory Gardner for leading this colleague today.
“I’m excited for our country that we have such a phenomenal nominee. I look forward to casting my vote to confirm him to the highest court in our country.”