Sen. Angus King held a Town Hall in Portland, ME devoted solely to the vacant Supreme Court seat. While constituents from both sides made arguments, here are two important takeaways:
1. Sen. King Said He Thought Gorsuch Was “Exceedingly Independent”
2. A Former Gorsuch Clerk & Bowdoin College Alum Touted His Qualification
SENATOR ANGUS KING: Let me share a couple of thoughts based on my reading and discussions, and part of it takes off of exactly where you were. And the clerk, who spent two years with Judge Gorsuch, I thought her testimony was very important. Whatever else you can say about him, my sense from his record is, he’s exceedingly independent. Many of his decisions are contrary to the Justice Department, the immigration services, various agencies. He’s a real stickler for limits on executive power. That’s the essence of a number of his decisions.
LEAH BRESSACK: Hi, my name is Leah Bressack. I want to say thank you to Senator King for having this forum. I have great appreciation for Maine. I spent four of my most formative years in Brunswick, Maine at Bowdoin College and I’m here because I care a lot about this issue. I worked for Judge Gorsuch for two years as a law clerk and I believe that there are three important points that anyone considering his nomination should consider:One is that Judge Gorsuch is truly independent. In deciding cases, he doesn’t care what politicians, or what parties want him to do. He decides cases based on what the law is. In the two years I worked for him, never once did politics influence a decision he made. He also works together with judges from different viewpoints in reaching a consensus on issues. You are correct that he’s heard approximately 2,700 cases while on the 10th Circuit for the past 10 years. 97 percent of those cases were decided unanimously, there was no disagreement. Judge Gorsuch made it very clear to all of us who clerked for him that we were to explore all of the different sides to every issue, that we were supposed to give every argument equal weight, and I believe that is exactly what we want in a Supreme Court justice.I’d also note that lots of people, or some people in D.C. let power go to their heads. Judge Gorsuch is not one of those people. He’s someone that cares too much about the system. His philosophy is based on the idea that the future of this country should be decided by elected representatives like yourself and Senator Collins, not by judges like him and I think for that reason, that’s another reason why he’d be an excellent Supreme Court Justice.I hear the points that were raised about the dissatisfaction with the way that Judge Garland was treated. I understand that there are questions that were raised about the fairness of a process that denied Judge Garland the same opportunity that Judge Gorsuch is seeking now. I would just ask and the reason why I’m here is I believe that the answer isn’t more political gridlock. I don’t believe the answer is treating another judge, someone who served on the bench for more than 10 years, unfairly. I believe that a yes or no vote on his nomination is what is right in this case and I wanted to at least articulate that point of view. Thank you.