Neil Gorsuch's Confirmation Hearings Start Today

Remigio Civitarese
Marzo 20, 2017

The US Senate should "interrogate" President Donald Trump's pick for the Supreme Court, several of the country's top LGBT groups said on Thursday, warning that Judge Neil Gorsuch's track record raises concerns he opposes same-sex marriage and transgender rights. After attending Harvard Law School as a Truman Scholar, he developed extensive trial and appellate litigation experience over the next two decades as Principle Deputy Associate Attorney General at the Department of Justice, partner at a private law firm, and clerk for two justices of the Supreme Court.

The confirmation hearings come after Congress' denial of a confirmation hearing President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, a year ago by denying him a confirmation hearing.

Cruz sharply defended Republicans' decision to hold the seat vacant, saying the president election was also a "referendum on the kind of justice that should replace Justice Scalia".

Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal is calling on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch to publicly defend the independence of the federal judiciary. A senator who wants to know which side a nominee will be on in future cases or who demands that judges be advocates for certain political interests, clearly has a politicized judiciary in mind, Hatch said in his opening statement.

There are now 11 Republicans and nine Democrats on the committee, so there's no doubt Gorsuch will be approved. And then, if Gorsuch tries to give one of the standard non-answers, they need to press for real answers and persist until he gives one. Other Democrats would rather focus on what they say is Gorsuch's record of backing big business over worker rights. Their base is insisting on it, because of what happened to President Obama's nominee.

On March 15th they escalated their efforts, bringing a protest to the U.S. Supreme Court building itself.

Last month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he was "confident" that Gorsuch would get the 60 votes necessary for confirmation. As Chief Justice, he's led the most right-wing Supreme Court since the early 1930s.

That's reason enough why every Democratic Senator must use every tool at he/r disposal to defeat Gorsuch's nomination, including the filibuster.

However, Republican leaders have suggested they may invoke the so-called "nuclear option" to require only a majority vote in support of the nomination. We will hear many citations of the unanimous votes with which potential justices, including Gorsuch's role model Antonin Scalia, was confirmed back in those golden days before liberals ruined that great tradition in 1987 by keeping Robert Bork off the Court.

"President Trump repeatedly promised to appoint someone in the mold of Justice Scalia", she said, "and that the nomination of Judge Gorsuch illustrates that he is a man of his word".

The most consistent message from Democrats, however, has been to claim that Gorsuch will not be able to be an independent check on the president who nominated him.

"Sometimes it's the individual who will win, sometimes it's the little guy, sometimes it's not", Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah said on the Bloomberg Law radio show Thursday. Sens. Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner, the delegation from Gorsuch's home state of Colorado, will introduce the judge.

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