Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch may have granted CNN a rare interview, but he wasn’t about to take the bait on repeated attempts to criticize President Trump.
Gorsuch refused to be cornered into giving CNN‘s Ariane de Vogue the anti-Trump soundbite she was hoping for as she tried to get him to focus on the president’s attacks on the judiciary.
The Trump-appointed judge, who joined the high court in 2017, was on hand to promote his new book, “A Republic, If You Can Keep It” as de Vogue questioned him about the president’s past remarks.
“Last fall, Chief Justice John Roberts issued a very rare statement because the president of the United States was attacking judges,” the reporter said. “And the president doubled-down afterwards, and said, ‘Sorry Chief Justice John Roberts, but you do indeed have ‘Obama judges,’ and they have a much different point of view than the people who are charged with the safety of our country.'”
“Do the attacks on those judges threaten the rule of law?” de Vogue asked.
“What I’d say to that again is, the rule of law in this country is strong, strong and stable. And we are very fortunate. We shouldn’t forget how fortunate we are. We should take care with what we have. It’s a great inheritance,” Gorsuch refuted. “And I would say to anybody who questions what a wonderful inheritance we have in our courts and the rule of law in this country: Go spend six weeks in a court in another country – of your choice – and come back and tell me what you think about our courts in this country.”
Not getting the response she was apparently looking for, de Vogue came at the issue again, asking Gorsuch the same question but using his book and idea about “people staying in their lanes” to elicit the remarks she was after.
“And what would you say to somebody who attacks judges,” de Vogue asked again, clearly referencing her previous quote. “And also, what does that do for the safety of judges? It’s very important, I think, and you’re talking in this book about the separation of powers and people staying in their lanes. But I think that these attacks are important. Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently said they’re age-old, that judges can’t defend themselves.”
Gorsuch smiled and doubled down on his previous answer.
“Well, I think I’m doing a pretty good job of it right now with you in explaining, I hope, the role of law, the role of judges in our country, and why I think we have something very special that we forget, at our risk,” he said.
“Is it easy to take for granted? Is it easy to forget what a gift we have? Of course it is. Everyday. I hear young people, for example, say, ‘I’m a citizen of the world. I don’t need to worry about these things,” Gorsuch continued before de Vogue interjected to, once again, get him to comment on Trump’s criticism.
“But you’re not touching on the attacks. You don’t want to touch on that,” she pressed.
“Well, I’m answering you as best I can, consistent with my judicial role as I understand it, alright?” Gorsuch shot back.
“And my answer to you is when you say, ‘I don’t care about judges or the Constitution or the role of law in this country, and ‘I’m a citizen of the world’ or whatever answer you have, if you’re telling me ‘I care about the dignity of each person,’ I say wonderful. I’m with you,” he explained.
“If you’re telling me you don’t care about the Constitution, the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary, then I say you’re missing something very vital – the wonderful gift, the inheritance you’ve received and you forget it at your risk.”
The CNN reporter finally dropped her narrative and moved on to other questions.
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