Press Release

AFT’s Weingarten on Neil Gorsuch's Nomination

For Release: 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Michael Heenan
202/585-4371; Cell:202/577-3941

WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court of the United States:

“President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch this evening to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. It should not go unnoticed that he called on the Senate to give Judge Gorsuch a fair hearing, conveniently and dishonestly ignoring the disgraceful way he and the Republicans handled Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination.

“The true test for any nominee should be: Will he or she uphold precedent and honor American values, and does his or her philosophy fall within the mainstream of jurisprudential thought? That is the standard used by both Democratic and Republican presidents. It’s the standard used by President Obama when he nominated Judge Garland, a highly qualified and widely respected jurist who is well-known for carefully deciding cases based upon the Constitution and existing law, respect for precedent, and the facts presented. President Trump, who claims to represent all Americans, has an obligation to use the same standard.

“As any social studies teacher will tell you, the judiciary has always been an equal branch of government tasked with interpreting our Constitution, protecting our values and serving as a check against any abuse of power by the other branches of our government. A president’s job is not to pick someone who will rewrite the Constitution, but rather for him to act in a way that is consistent with the Constitution and nominate someone who honors that fundamental American value.

“In Neil Gorsuch, Trump has nominated an extremist judge intent on overturning basic, well-established Supreme Court precedents. Gorsuch’s record raises significant concerns about his ability to be fair and to respect and follow the law rather than his own ideology, including repeatedly taking the side of corporations over consumers and workers.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.