U.S. SENATE —U.S. Senator Steve Daines today took to the Senate floor after the U.S. Senate voted to invoke the “nuclear option” because of unprecedented obstruction at the hands of Senate Democrats to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.
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Daines’ remarks as prepared are below:
“One of the most consequential votes I cast is a vote to confirm a U.S. Supreme Court nominee. It’s a lifetime appointment to our nation’s highest court.
“As it stands today – the U.S. Senate is on the precipice of confirming Neil Gorsuch to be our next U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice. Just a few short hours ago, my colleagues on the other side of the caved to the pressures of the far left and unleashed an unprecedented filibuster.
“I was honored to be at the White House East Wing on January 31 with President Donald J. Trump when he made the announcement that Judge Neil Gorsuch would be the nominee to replace Antonin Scalia. What an honor to be nominated for that seat in particular.
“Judge Gorsuch’s academic accomplishments are nothing other than stellar. His decision to serve as a Justice in the highest court in the land is truly a testament to his character, his intelligence, his understanding of the law, and his commitment to the Constitution.
“Judge Gorsuch was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Tenth Circuit in 2006 and was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Some of those Democrats who did not oppose included Harvard Law classmate Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
“Of utmost importance in a Justice is the desire and the ability to apply the law as it was intended, not to legislate from the bench. So 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.”
“On February 9 I met with Judge Gorsuch in my office – and let me tell you he is impressive. We discussed the Constitution, Second Amendment, separation of powers, the role of government and federalism and the Fourth Amendment.
“Through four full days of hearings, Judge Gorsuch eloquently answered Judiciary Committee members questions and showcased his brilliant legal mind.
“Prior to his hearing he met with nearly 80 Senators.
“He provided the Judiciary Committee over 70 pages of written answers about his personal record and over 75,000 pages of documents including speeches, case briefs, opinions, and written works going back as far as college.
“The White House Archives produced over 180,000 pages of email and paper records related to Judge Gorsuch’s time at the Department of Justice.
“During the Committee, Judge Gorsuch sat for three rounds of questioning totaling nearly 20 hours.
“The longest hearing of any 21st century nominee – he answered nearly 1,200 questions during his hearing – which is nearly twice as many questions as Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, or Ginsburg.
‘Today’s vote was nothing more than a campaign fundraising effort for Senate Democrats – in fact the Democrat members who have pledged to support him already have threats from liberals of voting them out of office.
“It is a sad day that this body has become so partisan that for the first time we had a partisan filibuster to a more than qualified nominee.
“Judge John Kane, a judge appointed by Democrat Jimmy Carter said in an op-ed for an online legal website: “As the saying goes, we could do worse. I’m not sure we could expect better, or that better presently exists.”
“Or take Obama’s Solicitor General, Neal Katyal “Judge Gorsuch is one of the most thoughtful and brilliant judges to have served our nation over the last century. As a judge, he has always put aside his personal views to serve the rule of law. To boot, as those of us who have worked with him can attest, he is a wonderfully decent and humane person. I strongly support his nomination to the Supreme Court.”
“A nominee of this caliber and who has undergone as I just mentioned rigorous vetting – deserves the respect of the members of this chamber. Yet, Senate Democrats walked down the road that their former leader did in 2013 by changing precedent and allowing this body to become even more partisan.
“The American people want Judge Gorsuch – in fact they demanded nine Justices on the Court.
“Today, we are one step closer to confirming him.
“Judge Gorsuch is the right replacement to honor the legacy of Justice Antonin Scalia. He has widespread support across Montana.
“The American people deserve a Supreme Court Justice who upholds the rule of law and follows the Constitution.
“The American people deserve a Supreme Court Justice who doesn’t legislate from the bench.
“The American people deserve Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court.
“And as the American people watched Judge Gorsuch before the Judiciary Committee, they saw an exceptionally qualified nominee for the highest court in the land. Someone who is bright, who is kind, I would argue that Judge Gorsuch intellectual capacities are only exceeded by the size of his heart. This is a kind and independent jurist.
“I look forward to casting my vote tomorrow to confirm Judge Gorsuch.”