On Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence spoke on Judge Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court at Congress Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in an event sponsored by The Federalist Society. Here are excerpted highlights of Vice President Pence's remarks:
[The Constitution] was, it is, and I believe will forever be the greatest charter of liberty our world has ever seen. It's fostered our nation's unparalleled success. And it is to this day the greatest bulwark against tyranny in history. This is the Constitution that President Trump and I have both sworn to uphold. . . . And I promise you, we will keep that oath.
The American people elected President Trump, I believe in significant part, because of his vow to . . . nominate someone to the Supreme Court in the mold not only of Justice Thomas but of the late and great Justice Antonin Scalia. . . . Justice Antonin Scalia's devotion to the Constitution will be forever remembered by the people of the United States of America.
I can say with the utmost confidence that Judge Gorsuch is a worthy successor to Justice Antonin Scalia. . . . When you get right down to it, Judge Gorsuch, plain and simple, is one of the most mainstream, respected, and exceptionally qualified nominees in American history. But don't take my word for it. That was actually the conclusion of the American Bar Association in 2006. . . . [T]he ABA gave him a unanimous rating of well qualified, which is the highest possible recommendation. And the United States Senate agreed. Only two months after Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the court of appeals, the Senate confirmed him by a unanimous voice vote. And nearly a third of those senators on both sides of the aisle are still serving in the Senate today.
In his decade on the Tenth Circuit, he's established himself as a fair and impartial judge who's been faithful to the Constitution. He's well-known by his peers as a keen legal thinker, and just as important, a clear legal writer. It's evident to all that he's a man, also, of high character and courage, indispensable qualities for a jurist.
Our constitutional order requires the rule of law without exception. We are, after all, a nation of laws. Judge Gorsuch firmly understands this. He's said on many occasions that judges must apply the law as written without regard to their own politics or personal feelings. He put it well on Tuesday, and movingly, saying: "In our legal order, it's for Congress, and not the courts, to write new laws." He added: "It is the role of judges to apply, not alter, the work of the people's representatives." And my favorite line [was]: "A judge who likes every outcome he reaches is very likely a bad judge, stretching for results he prefers rather than those the law demands." I don't know about you, but that's my kind of Supreme Court justice.
Judge Gorsuch's record on the bench clearly demonstrates his fidelity to the wisdom of the Founders rather than the whims of our own day and age. He's written more than 200 published opinions in his decade on the Tenth Circuit. And if you read them all, . . . an unmistakeable picture emerges. He's an originalist and a textualist who will pick up right where Justice Scalia left off. Judge Gorsuch has such a long history of holding the separation of powers and the checks and balances between the three branches. He also defends the Constitution's unique system of federalism, and he restricts the national government to the specific and enumerated powers enshrined in the Constitution while leaving to the states much more sizable control over their lives and destinies. . . . By defending [these mechanisms], Judge Gorsuch has shown himself to be a true friend of our freedoms. . . . Our Constitution and our country will be stronger with him on the Supreme Court.
Never before in the history of our country has an Associate Justice nominee to the Supreme Court faced a successful filibuster, and Judge Neil M. Gorsuch should not be the first. . . . We will work with the Senate leadership to ensure that Judge Gorsuch gets an up or down vote on the Senate floor, one way or the other. This seat does not belong to any party, or any ideology, or any interest group. This seat on the Supreme Court belongs to the American people, and the American people deserve a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.
Thank you, Vice President Pence, for your commitment to supporting the rule of law, the Constitution, and our founding principles through thenomination of Judge Gorsuch to Justice Scalia's seat on the Supreme Court.