Trump calls on Republicans to vote to block Trump’s Supreme Court nominee
The president of the United States said Friday he is urging GOP lawmakers to block the nomination of Neil Gorsuch, a key member of his Supreme Court team who has been widely criticized for his views on abortion.
In a letter to Republican leaders, President Donald Trump called on Republicans not to confirm Judge Gorsuch, who has already faced intense criticism for his support for abortion rights.
Trump, a leading Republican in the Senate, wrote that “it would be a dereliction of our duty to allow this nomination to go forward.”
Gorsuch has a long history of opposition to abortion rights and has argued that the Constitution protects a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.
He has previously said he supports the Supreme Court’s Roe v.
Wade ruling legalizing abortion in all but rare cases.
“If you can’t vote for Neil Gorsuch as Supreme Court justice, I hope you can at least vote against him,” Trump wrote in a letter obtained by NBC News.
“There is no better person to lead the Supreme Courts than Neil Gorsuch.
It is time for Republicans to do what’s right for the country, not what’s good for Neil.”
Trump’s comments follow the abrupt announcement Thursday that he would not seek re-election.
Trump said Friday that he had no intention of stepping down, though he did not mention the issue in his remarks to a joint session of Congress.
“I will always vote to defend the Constitution and the rule of law, and I will always fight to restore the Constitution,” he said.
Trump’s move follows the resignation of Vice President Mike Pence, who stepped down amid the uproar over his remarks on abortion during the vice presidential debate in September.
Pence said during the debate that women who undergo abortions should be punished, but later apologized for his remarks.
In the letter to Republicans, Trump wrote that he wants to help all of his Cabinet nominees.
“This administration has made a commitment to nominate and confirm Supreme Court justices who will serve the American people and will uphold the Constitution in the most effective and efficient manner,” he wrote.
“Unfortunately, these nominees have been chosen by an unprecedented political campaign, including an unprecedented effort to undermine the integrity of the judicial branch, to undermine judicial appointments and the court system, and to undermine trust in the institution of the judiciary.”
He added that “we cannot let the courts become the arbiters of our lives and our constitutional liberties.”
Trump also thanked Republican senators for their support and said he hopes they will vote for him.
He also thanked the public for their “enthusiasm and support for this great effort.”
Trump, who faces a tough reelection fight in 2018, said he will work to improve the Supreme Council, a group of judges who advise the president on the courts.
Trump called the council “the single most important institution of our country” and said it would “go a long way in ensuring that all Americans have a voice in our system of government.”
“The president is committed to appointing the best and brightest, and his agenda is about making sure that every American has the opportunity to participate fully in our democracy,” he added.
The Supreme Court has been a key focus of Trump’s presidency, especially since he nominated Judge Gorsuch to replace Antonin Scalia.
Gorsuch is widely seen as an ideal choice to lead a court that has been accused of stifling free speech and the right to abortion.
Gorsuch has also been criticized for comments he made in 2014 that said women should be “punished” if they have an abortion.