CNN's Henderson: 'Far Right' Will Be Watching Gorsuch on Supreme Court

Appearing as a panel member on Monday's At This Hour with Kate Bolduan on CNN to discuss the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, CNN political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson twice used the label "far right" -- a suggestion of extremism seldomly seen applied by journalists to liberals  -- as she predicted that conservatives will be watching to see if Justice Gorsuch makes the kinds of rulings they approve of ideologically.

At 11:26 a.m. ET, Henderson recalled:

And a lot of people, particularly from the far right and conservatives, are really going to be looking at this justice to see whether or not he's in the mold of John Roberts -- who in many ways disappointed a lot of conservatives because he upheld parts of Obamacare -- or if he's going to be in the mold of somebody like Clarence Thomas or of course Justice Scalia who he's replacing. So that will be interesting.

She then added:

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And he'll really get an opportunity off the bat with some of these court cases that are before the Supreme Court already to really, I think, curry favor with some folks in the far right sort of evangelical communities that were a little nervous about some of his answers around Roe V. Wade and same-sex marriage and religious liberty.from those really long confirmation hearings.

Notably, as Henderson appeared as a panel member in the next hour's Inside Politics, she dropped the term "far right" and simply referred to "conservatives."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portion of the Monday, April 10, At This Hour with Kate Bolduan on CNN:

JOAN BISKUPIC: I also wondered about thought bubbles above the other justices, too, because this is the start of a new chapter and these events at the White House have always had some hoopla to it but this time, this time there seemed to be much more. The President spoke longer than usual for a President in that situation. He actually brought in some political themes, Jeff just referred to Mitch McConnell, who the President thanked. The President has Mitch McConnell to thank on two fronts. First of all, for getting the rules changed that allowed Judge Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed and also to have that seat held for more than 400 days during the remaining part of Barack Obama's term and I thought it was interesting the way President Trump used the moment to talk about this beautiful spring day, this new beginning in America.

A lot of political themes that don't, you don't often see at this time, but I think to get to your question there, Kate, about what Justice Gorsuch must be thinking. You know, what a wonderful event. He's — he’s — he will be seated in just a couple days to decide the law of the land. It's for life. He can say or do whatever he wants. It's unlikely that anybody would touch him and he'll have such an important role in deciding, as I said, the law for all of us. 

KATE BOLDUAN: And, Nia, as Joan points out, the President in his opening remarks who is hitting a very optimistic tone, talking about spring is the perfect backdrop. He said that we're in the process of rebuilding and renewing and a new optimism that is sweeping across the land. This is a much-needed big win for this President. You could kind of see it in his upbeat tone there. 

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: That's right. You could see it and some of that language of renewing, rebuilding, and reviewing is somewhat new. I mean, he had touched on that a bit earlier in some of his rallies in Florida, for instance, a couple months ago. But you can tell this is kind of a new chapter for him, at least this week, at least with this event and he touched on it.

He said he was able to do this in the first 100 days. Sort of patting himself on the back in that speech and saying it wasn't easy to do that and Joan alluded to all of the things that had to go in to making this moment happen for Donald Trump. I do think that when you look at the wins from the first 100 days, this will be top of the list. I think the question is, what are the other wins that will come from this White House, from this administration? Gorsuch, of course, will sit on the bench.

And a lot of people, particularly from the far right and conservatives, are really going to be looking at this justice to see whether or not he's in the mold of John Roberts -- who in many ways disappointed a lot of conservatives because he upheld parts of Obamacare -- or if he's going to be in the mold of somebody like Clarence Thomas or of course Justice Scalia who he's replacing. So that will be interesting.

And he'll really get an opportunity off the bat with some of these court cases that are before the Supreme Court already to really, I think, curry favor with some folks in the far right sort of evangelical communities that were a little nervous about some of his answers around Roe V. Wade and same-sex marriage and religious liberty.from those really long confirmation hearings.

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