Wicker, Rubio, Graham, Scott

Executive Session (Gorsuch Nomination)

Senator Wicker: (5:25 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
    • "But let's look, first of all, at the candidate himself and then I might take a moment or two to talk about what we have already done, that decision that has been made. But let's talk about Neil Gorsuch, about this outstanding future Supreme Court justice who I believe will be sworn in either tomorrow or the next day. Is Neil Gorsuch qualified? Really, can anyone contest that he is highly qualified, perhaps one of the most qualified people to ever to have been nominated by a president for the high court. He has degrees from Columbia, Harvard Law, from Oxford University. He has received the American Bar Association's highest rating, the gold standard that we look at when it comes to judging nominees for the federal bench up to and including the high court, and he served for ten years with distinction on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. And so, clearly, he's got the qualifications and clearly he is among that group of qualified individuals that the president promised to look at back during the campaign. And promised to send that type of individual over to the Supreme Court. So I really don't think there's much that can be said to contradict the fact that Neil Gorsuch is qualified and highly qualified."


Senator Rubio: (5:51 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
    • "Tomorrow morning or tomorrow afternoon at some point we will, I believe, vote to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to be a justice of the United States Supreme Court. There's been so much said about him and his qualifications and I have been watching speeches all week and even headed to the committee hearing so much had been said about him. This is a mainstream candidate. This is a mainstream judge, someone who has voted with the majority 99% of the time. Someone who 97% percent of the time of the 2,700 cases was unanimous.  He believes the constitution should be interpreted for its original intent, but he is not outside the mainstream and he is certainly qualified. It's interesting that you see a broad array of individuals come forward to talk about his qualifications. I thought it was interesting that there was no coherent reason to oppose him. There were a lot of opinions on the floor that he would not commit to certain decisions that they would like to see him make. That would be true of virtually everyone who was a nominee over the last quarter century. This is a nominee reflective of the president's party and that is what elections are about.  There has been tremendous consternation about the change that would no longer require 60 votes to end debate. I think a lot of people have a misunderstanding of how we got here. I think it is important for the people of Florida to know how I approached it. It is the no something that I am excited or happy about. I would say that is the sentiment of most of the people here in the Senate and yet it happened anyway."


Senator Graham: (6:07 p.m.)

  • Spoke on South Carolina Gamecocks winning the Women's NCAA Basketball Tournament.
    • "I still have four years of eligibility in all sports for a reason. I was no good. My colleague here actually played college football, and we're both Gamecock fans. Coach Dawn Staley came to South Carolina in 2008. She has been on a national championship team as a player. She is now in the hall of fame for basketball, as one of two African American female coaches to win the national title of women's basketball. She is the real deal, she is a wonderful lady. Asia Wilson, our dominating junior forward, was the M.V.P for the final four and S.C player of the year and first-team all American. All the girls played really, really hard. The men's basketball team made it to the final four, lost in a very tough contest, and I could not be more proud of the University of South Carolina women's basketball team."


Senator Scott: (6:10 p.m.)

  • Spoke on South Carolina Gamecocks winning the Women's NCAA Basketball Tournament.
    • "Coach Staley, absolutely, positively, unequivocally the best basketball coach, women's basketball coach, in my opinion. I know, against UConn, in the country. Dawn Staley 20 years ago came within a single point of winning a national championship as a player. Can you just imagine being a single point short? And this must feel like redemption for our coach. We are so proud of the fact that both our coaches are producing student athletes, learning academically, striving on courts, but prepared for life, for living. So we're excited about that. I want to know as well that there has only been ten times in NCAA history, ten times that both the women's and the men's basketball teams from the same school were in the final four at the same time. It is a good time to be a South Carolinian."