Sen. Tom Udall will oppose the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, saying that the 10th Circuit Appeals Court judge failed to answer key questions during his Senate confirmation hearings this week.
Udall’s announcement comes in the wake of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s call on Thursday to filibuster Gorsuch. Sen. Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat, has not yet publicly said whether her intends to vote for or against Gorsuch’s nomination.
“I have met with Judge Gorsuch, followed the hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and studied his record, and decided that I can’t support his confirmation,” Udall said in a statement provided to the Journal. “He failed to answer questions that are critical for me — his position on the rights of working mothers, whether women can choose their own health care decisions, LGBTQ rights, and dark money in our elections.”
Udall, a former New Mexico attorney general, also said controversies swirling around President Donald Trump factored into his decision to oppose Gorsuch, a westerner who has drawn generally strong reviews for his intellect and courtroom demeanor.
“In just the last couple of months, the president has taken constitutionally questionably actions affecting Muslim immigrants and freedom of speech and religion,” Udall added. “The FBI is investigating his campaign, and he faces scrutiny about whether his company is benefiting from his office. All of these issues could well come before the Supreme Court. It’s more important now than ever before that we have neutral clear-minded justices sitting on the bench. But Judge Gorsuch didn’t convince me that he would be an independent voice on the Court.
“Every recent Supreme Court nominee has received at least 60 votes either for cloture (a procedural vote that allows a final vote) or confirmation. Judge Gorsuch should be subject to the same test, and therefore, I will vote no on cloture and confirmation.”