The judge nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacant seat on the US Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, says the president’s recent criticism of a federal judge and the judiciary are “disheartening” and “demoralising,” his spokesman said.
Mr Gorsuch, a US appeals court judge and the high court nominee, “certainly expressed to me that he is disheartened by the demoralising and abhorrent comments made by President Trump about the judiciary,” said Democrats Senator Richard Blumenthal after a private meeting with Mr Gorsuch.
Ron Bonjean, one of Gorsuch’s spokespeople, confirmed later to CNN and other media outlets that the judge had definitely “used the words disheartening and demoralising” in reference to the comments made by Mr Trump, who last week tapped him to become the ninth high court justice, replacing the late Antonin Scalia.
Mr Trump this past weekend criticised Seattle-based federal Judge James Robart, who last Friday immediately suspended the executive order the president had signed barring US entry to refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations, calling him a “so-called judge” and accusing him of “essentially (taking) law-enforcement away from our country.”
On Sunday, Trump went farther on Twitter, saying that Robart and the US judicial system in general will be to blame if “something happens” due to the suspension of the travel ban, an apparent allusion to a potential terrorist attack.
Mr Trump on Wednesday continued his attacks, saying that US courts are “so political” and criticising the appeals court reviewing the travel ban he imposed on immigrants from Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Yemen.
“I don’t ever want to call a court biased so I won’t call a court biased – but courts seem to be so political and it would be so great for our justice system if they would be able to read a statement and do what’s right,” Mr Trump said in a speech to a conference of police chiefs and law enforcement officials.