A group of 98 Maine lawyers is asking Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to oppose Judge Neil Gorsuch’s appointment to the Supreme Court.
In a letter, the attorneys argue that President Trump’s nominee should be denied confirmation by the Senate because of an ongoing federal investigation into Trump’s presidential campaign and because Gorsuch has sided too frequently with corporate interests.
The letter comes just nine days after another group of 49 Maine attorneys urged King and Collins to support Gorsuch.
While Collins has said she will support Gorsuch, King said Sunday on the CBS News program “Face the Nation” that he remains undecided. Gorsuch, a judge on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, has gained national attention for his rulings on immigration, health care and religious freedom.
Organized by Mainers for Accountable Leadership, the three-page letter signed by the lawyers says that their reasons for opposing Gorsuch are varied but include concerns about Trump making a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court while federal investigators are still trying to determine if Trump’s campaign worked with Russian agents to manipulate or influence the 2016 presidential election.
The letter goes on to say Gorsuch’s rulings demonstrate “a bias in favor of business interests over the rights and interests of powerless individuals.”
Jackie Sartoris, an attorney in Brunswick who signed the letter, said Gorsuch is “not a normal candidate, but an activist judge with an extreme agenda.”
Sartoris said the letter was a direct response to the earlier letter from Maine lawyers backing Gorsuch. The lawyers also criticized Collins for supporting Gorsuch and challenged King to make up his mind.
“Collins’ support of such an extreme candidate raises doubts about her moderation,” said April Humphrey of Mainers for Affordable Leadership. “And Sen. King needs to come off the fence and speak for Mainers in defending the filibuster rule and opposing Gorsuch.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines Monday to send Gorsuch’s nomination to the Senate floor.
Democrats in the Senate have vowed to filibuster the nomination. Republicans hold 52 of the 100 seats in the Senate, meaning they would need eight Democrats – or six Democrats, as well as King and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. – to join them to end a filibuster and push Gorsuch’s nomination forward. But as of Monday, 41 Democrats had committed to voting no on Gorsuch, and Republicans have suggested they may change the Senate rules to allow Gorsuch’s appointment to move forward on a simple majority vote.