Donald Trump, a capricious dilettante, nearly canned the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorusch over concerns about his loyalty.
According to a new report from The Washington Post, Trump was dismayed by comments Gorsuch made to Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) during his confirmation hearing. Gorsuch told Blumenthal that Trump’s attacks on the judiciary—of which there have been many—were “disheartening” and “demoralizing.”
With his political ignorance on full display, Trump apparently “exploded” over Gorsuch’s perceived criticism and threatened to pull his nomination:
The president worried that Gorsuch would not be “loyal,” one of the people said, and told aides that he was tempted to pull Gorsuch’s nomination — and that he knew plenty of other judges who would want the job.
Trump also seemed to think that Gorsuch, a proud advocate of the type of “religious freedom” that allowed Hobby Lobby to deny its employees birth control, might turn out to be a liberal:
“He’s probably going to end up being a liberal like the rest of them,” Trump told the Republican leaders, according to a person with knowledge of the comments. “You never know with these guys.”
When Trump finally received the obsequious note Gorsuch had written him after his nomination was announced, the whole thing was apparently squashed. “Your address to Congress was magnificent,” Gorsuch wrote in March. “And you were so kind to recognize Mrs. Scalia, remember the justice, and mention me. My teenage daughters were cheering the TV!”
Trump, of course, had nothing to worry about. Gorsuch is already shaping up to be one of the Court’s most conservative judges. Just two months after he was confirmed, Gorsuch opposed a ruling that gave same-sex couples equal parenting rights, signaled his support of Trump’s travel ban, and attempted to take on a case that argued all American citizens had the right to carry a concealed weapon.