Several Senate Democratic officials called the White House’s aim of winning over a few Democrats for the Gorsuch nomination overly hopeful. They said that Gorsuch’s criticism of Trump’s comments was not going to suddenly change Democratic minds about whether to confirm him.
The officials said the party’s strategy moving forward is to further raise the bar as Gorsuch asserts his judicial independence. That means pressing Gorsuch to speak out more forcefully about Trump’s comments and to do so publicly rather than in private meetings. They expect Democratic senators to push Gorsuch on issues such as Trump’s temporary ban on entry to the United States for citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries and all refugees.
“Because President Trump has made unwise and unbalanced comments that are perceived as undermining judicial independence, I expect in my conversation with Judge Gorsuch to raise the issue of judicial independence, to ask for a demonstration of his commitment to judicial independence,” said Sen. Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.).