Senator Al Franken (D-MN) questioned the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s understanding of the Constitution on Monday during the supreme court justice nomination hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch.
Franken began his line of questioning to Gorsuch by discussing Trump’s “litmus test” for his Supreme Court nominee.
“In fact, he openly discussed his litmus test. He said that he would ‘appoint judges very much in the mold of Scalia’ during the final presidential debate,” Franken said. “Then-candidate Trump said, ‘The justices I’m going to appoint will be pro-life. They will have a conservative bent.'”
Franken then praised Scalia before taking a shot at his knowledge of the Constitution.
“Justice Scalia was a man of great conviction and, it should be said, a man of great humor,” Franken said. “But Justice Scalia embraced a rigid view of our Constitution, a view blind to the equal dignity of LGBT people, and hostile to women’s reproductive rights, and a view that often refused to acknowledge the lingering laws and policies that perpetuate the racial divide.”
The Washington Free Beacon reported on the statement:
Franken acknowledged that nobody can dispute the late Scalia’s love for the Constitution, but he went on to say “the document he revered looks very different from the one I have sworn to defend.”
Furthermore, Twitchy highlighting a specific Tweet sent out by Randy Barnett, a Georgetown law professor and the author of several books about the Constitution, about Franken’s seeming admission to having a different United States Constitution from that of late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Barnett’s tweet triggered an outburst of responses:
Sen. Franken's is written in "evolving" ink, it seems
— Adam M. Carrington (@carringtonam) March 20, 2017
Maybe he should have studied it before he swore to uphold it.
— Michael Kennedy (@capmotion) March 20, 2017
— PfizerLeaks Republicanvet91 (@Republicanvet91) March 20, 2017
That doesn't even make BAD sense…
— Santa's Tavern (@SantasTavern) March 20, 2017
Seems that @SenFranken needs to return to 7th grade civics. Only thing different since Scalia sworn in is 27th Amendment.
— Sandy Williamson ن (@sandydubya) March 20, 2017
However, that tweet was not the only source of criticism :
Hard to know how the Constitution Justice Scalia loved "isn't the same document" that Senator Franken swore to uphold. It's just one doc.
— Bryan A. Garner (@BryanAGarner) March 20, 2017
Al Franken's understanding of the constitution is…to put it most generously…limited.
— John W. Pettit (@mmmonk53) March 21, 2017
Despite the harsh words, Franken does have his followers…:
Franken shared his concerns about Gorsuch nomination on Facebook, despite no sign of the video clip nor the text that accompanied it included his controversial constitution statement: