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Gorsuch calls attacks on federal judges ‘disheartening’ and ‘demoralizing’

Judge Neil Gorsuch said he finds personal criticism against federal judges are deeply troubling — but he declined to weigh in specifically on President Trump’s attacks against some members of the federal judiciary.

“When someone criticizes the honesty, the integrity, or the motives of a federal judge, I find that disheartening, I find that demoralizing,” said Gorsuch.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) pressed him to address Trump’s criticism of judges who have ruled against him, including his labeling of one who blocked his travel ban as a “so-called judge.”

Gorsuch wouldn’t opine.

“Senator, I can’t comment on specific cases. And I can’t get involved in politics,” he said, adding: “I’ve gone as far as I can go ethically.”

The comments echoed what Gorsuch told Blumenthal in a private meeting last month.

Neil Gorsuch confirmation hearings: Updates and analysis on the Supreme Court nominee
epa05860192 Neil Gorsuch appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, USA, 20 March 2017. Gorsuch, who was nominated by US President Donald J. Trump on 31 January 2017, begins his confirmation hearing 401 days after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Senate Republicans refused to vote or hold confirmation hearings on former President Barack Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, resulting in the longest opening on the court since the 1860s. EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS
Gorsuch appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. (Michael Reynolds/EPA)

Judge Neil Gorsuch, a federal appeals court judge from Colorado, is on Capitol Hill today for confirmations hearings for a seat on the Supreme Court. Gorsuch was nominated by President Trump to fill the seat left open by the death of Antonin Scalia and has broad support among Republicans.

It’s a chance for Senate Democrats to take a stand against the Trump administration, and express their anger that Republicans blocked a hearing for President Barack Obama’s selection for the seat, Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Monday is the beginning of four days of hearings. Follow along.

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