Conservative, Religious, Pro-Life Leaders Praise Trump’s SCOTUS Nomination

Barbara Hollingsworth | February 1, 2017 | 12:40pm EST
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President Donald Trump announces his nomination of 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court at the White House on Jan. 31, 2017. (AP photo)

( –  Conservative, religious and pro-life leaders were effusive in their praise of President Donald Trump’s nomination of 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday night.

“President Trump did exactly what he told the American people he would do - nominate a distinguished, exceptionally qualified, and widely respected jurist to fill Justice [Antonin] Scalia's seat on the Supreme Court,” said Leonard Leo,  executive vice president of The Federalist Society, who had been advising Trump on possible Supreme Court picks.

“Judge Gorsuch possesses keen intellect, independence of judgment, integrity, courage, and a sense of fairness that is grounded in the Constitution and laws as they are written. This is what the president very much wanted in a nominee.

"Under our Constitution, power ultimately rests with the people.  This ideal is at the core of Justice Scalia’s legacy. As we heard from President Trump’s inauguration speech, it is at the core of the president's agenda, and it's very much at the core of what Neil Gorsuch’s record is as a jurist,” Leo said.

“I was pleased to witness President Trump follow through on his promise and select a nominee from the list he presented during the campaign,” said Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, who attended the announcement ceremony at the White House.

“In the third presidential debate, Donald Trump drove home his point about the type of Supreme Court nominees that he would select. I believe that moment in the debate helped seal the deal with millions of social conservative voters.

“In fact, exit polling found that 21 percent of voters pointed to the Supreme Court as the ‘most important factor driving their vote’ and Trump won that group by 16 points,” Perkins said.

“Judge Neil Gorsuch is a superb choice,” agreed Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, who also noted that the choice of a Supreme Court justice was “a major issue” for conservative women who voted for Trump.

“We are pleased to see him follow through on his commitment to the American people,” Nance said.

“President Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court is a victory for Americans who are fed up with corrupt judicial activism,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch. “The judicial branch needs as much draining as the rest of the federal government swamp.

“President Trump avoided the temptation to nominate yet another politician to the Supreme Court,” Fitton added. “It is good we have a nominee who has a demonstrated record of applying the rule of law rather than legislating from the bench.”

Ed Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a former clerk for Scalia, called Gorsuch “an eminently worthy successor to the great justice” in an article published Wednesday in National Review.

 “Judge Gorsuch was confirmed without opposition to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2006, and has received a ‘unanimously well qualified’ rating from the American Bar Association,” Carl Anderson, president of the Knights of Columbus, pointed out. “It is hard to imagine a better, and more qualified, candidate.”

“We want someone who is intellectually admired by his colleagues, who has a well -developed jurisprudential philosophy, who resists imputing his own political preferences when ruling on constitutional cases….[and] puts a premium on our two most important rights: the right to life, from fertilization to natural death, and religious liberty for all. Judge Neil Gorsuch fits that description,” said Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.

Noting that if he is confirmed by the Senate, Judge Gorsuch, who is an Episcopalian, will be the only Protestant on the high court, Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary, said that Gorsuch is “precisely the kind of Supreme Court nominee that President Trump promised to give America and is the main reason why millions of Americans voted for him last November.

“The American people are extremely frustrated that they have been losing the right to govern themselves to unelected federal judges,” Land continued. “Judge Gorsuch will help correct that.”

Several leaders of grassroots organizations also vowed to mobilize their members in support of Gorsuch’s nomination.

“We are excited about the nomination of Judge Gorsuch,” said Judie Brown, president of the American Life League, the nation’s oldest pro-life grassroots organization. “We look forward to doing everything we can to see that this exemplary man is confirmed by the Senate and takes his seat as soon as possible.”

 “President Trump has made an exceptional choice in nominating Neil Gorsuch to carry on the legacy of the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court,” echoed Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List. “In the coming days, we will mobilize the pro-life grassroots nationwide and in key Senate battleground states to urge the Senate to swiftly confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

“Should pro-abortion Democratic senators choose to filibuster this immensely qualified nominee, they do so at their own political peril,” Dannenfelser warned.

“Gorsuch is an advocate for interpreting the Constitution as it was written, and interpreting federal law in a way that does not criminalize innocent acts - a critical approach given that excessive laws and harsh sentencing disproportionately affect young people. We look forward to engaging our network of activists and supporters to ensure that Gorsuch is confirmed quickly,” said Andrew Clark, executive director of Generation Opportunity.

“President Trump has a clear mandate to choose our next justice,” said Jenny Beth Martin, president and co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, who noted that her group plans to hold 1,000 house parties during the next 100 days to organize its network of grassroots activists, who will “work very hard to ensure the Senate quickly moves to confirm Judge Gorsuch.”

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