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In a private conversation with Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, Judge Neil M. Gorsuch called President Trump’s recent verbal attacks on the judiciary as “disheartening” and “demoralizing.” Though private, the account of the conversation was confirmed by a White House adviser, and has since gained national attention.

Many are critical of the president’s blatant disregard for the historical precedent of separation between the three branches of government. Arguing that such separation is not only appropriate, but essential, they regard Trump’s remarks as the latest evidence that the new president is unqualified for office.

It’s unusual to hear anyone from Trump’s camp “break rank”– perhaps Gorsuch’s remarks are indicative that he doesn’t align himself as closely with the president as other appointees. I found Gorsuch’s remarks to be a refreshing acknowledgment of reality and hope that if confirmed, Judge Gorsuch will continue to disregard party line and assess situations independently.

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P.C.: Alex Wong, Getty Images