Supreme Court

Graham on Gorsuch battle: 'Alexander Hamilton would be rolling over in his grave'

Republican senator blasts politicization of judicial nominations at Judge Gorsuch's confirmation hearing


Sen. Lindsey Graham on Wednesday castigated Democratic lawmakers for their treatment of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, proclaiming of the current process that “Alexander Hamilton would be rolling over in his grave.”

Graham said senators were doing “great damage to the judiciary” by politicizing the process of Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing.

“We’re taking the nomination process to a place it was never intended to go by the framers of the Constitution,” Graham said.

The South Carolina Republican lamented the questions being asked of Gorsuch and suggested his colleagues were trying to prod the nominee into taking firm stances on hot-button issues. 

“If we’re going to vote against a nominee because they won’t tell us things that we want to hear about issues important to us, then the whole nominating process has become a joke,” Graham said.

He compared the current, fraught political environment with the sense of duty that surrounded the nominations and confirmations of previous Supreme Court justices.

“What has happened over time is that, somehow, someway, we’ve gone from [Justice Antonin] Scalia, the originalist, getting 98 votes, [Justice Ruth Bader] Ginsberg, the bastion of liberalism on the court, well qualified, getting 96 votes,” Graham said. “What’s happened?

"Did the Constitution change? I don’t think so. I think politics changed. I think it’s changed in a fashion we should all be ashamed of as senators, and I think we’re doing great damage to the judiciary by politicking every judicial nomination. ‘If you don’t agree with my basis view of the world, I cannot vote for you.’"