President Obama’s Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal urged angry Democratic Senators to support President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch. At the start of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for Gorsuch’s confirmation March 20, Katyal, once the highest Indian-American appointee in the Justice Department, also called it a “tragedy of national proportions” that Obama nominee Judge Merrick Garland, was not given a hearing by the GOP. He also slammed President Trump for questioning the integrity of some judges.
Katyal is the lead counsel who successfully secured a temporary restraining order just last week, against President Trump’s second temporary travel ban on 6 terror-prone countries. Katyal has argued some 32 cases before the Supreme Court in the last decade and represented diverse clients ranging from Osama bin Laden’s driver, to death penalty inmates, states, the federal government, individual citizens, Native American Tribes, and some of the nation’s largest corporations.
“I can tell you that the one thing you really want, when in front of the Court, is just an opportunity to be treated fairly,” Katyal said, “To have jurists who work day and night to get to the right answer – not motivated by party or politics, but by a sense of justice,” he added, qualities he implied Judge Gorsuch has.
“And it is because of that deep need for fairness on the Court that I am, as so many Americans are, outraged that Merrick Garland does not sit on it today,” Katyal said. He described President Obama’s earlier nominee as “perhaps the most qualified nominee ever to have been nominated to the Court,” yet urged fellow Democrats to support Gorsuch indicating he was the next best choice.
“This is a first rate intellect, and a fair, and decent, man,” Katyal said about Gorsuch. “The Judge’s commitment to the rule of law would endear him to the founders,” Katyal said.
“We live in a unique time. The current President has in the past displayed open contempt for the courts, attacking judges who disagree with him and even questioning their legitimacy and motives,” said Katyal. “Judges who have questioned the President have had to be placed under increased security and protection because of the reaction among some members of the public,” Katyal said.
“Between the President’s attacks on the judiciary and his controversial policies, he seems intent on testing the independence and integrity of our court system,” said Katyal, which was all the more reason to put Judge Gorsuch on the highest bench, because despite being on opposite sides of the political spectrum, he would uphold the law and the Constitution.