Durbin Opposes Gorsuch | WGLT

Durbin Opposes Gorsuch

Apr 3, 2017

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, IL, during town hall meeting at Illinois Wesleyan University March 24.
Credit Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

Just before the Senate Judiciary voted to forward President Trump's Supreme Court nominee to the full senate, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois announced his expected opposition.

The Illinois Democrat said federal Judge Neil Gorsuch favors big business and big money over ordinary people in nearly all cases.

"He says he neutrally follows the text of the law and the original intent of the law. And yet we can find clear patterns when he bends precedent and selectively focuses on some parts of the text and not on others," said Durbin.

Durbin said his decision to oppose Gorsuch was not a close call. Durbin mentioned the case of Grace Wang. Kansas State fired the professor after a medical leave of absence when she balked at exposing herself to a flu outbreak on campus.

"And she said to the people at the University I'm afraid to go back. I'm very vulnerable having just gone through a bone marrow transplant. And they said if you don't return to the classroom, you're fired. It was Judge Gorsuch who wrote the opinion that said it was a reasonable decision by Kansas State. I don't think it was," said Durbin.

Gorsuch and his supporters say he follows the intent of the law and the original framers of the constitution. Durbin said that in looking at the debate over the constitution in the 1780s, there is no discernable original intent.

Supporters of Gorsuch hailed his legal ability, scholarship, and respect among his peers.
     
Democrats think they have enough votes to filibuster the nomination.
     
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel says he will change the Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster if that happens.