Senate Confirmation Hearings Under Way for Trump's Supreme Court Pick

Remigio Civitarese
Marzo 20, 2017

"Let's remember, the Supreme Court is more than just marble pillars and judicial robes", the Connecticut Democrat said.

Gorsuch and the Judiciary Committee's 20 members will give opening statements Monday, and Gorsuch will answer questions Tuesday and Wednesday.

Toomey described the nominee as well-qualified and someone who "understands the proper role of a judge", adding that he believes Gorsuch will "apply the law and the U.S. Constitution as they are written, not as someone might wish they were written".

The nominee is also likely to be quizzed on whether he is sufficiently independent from President Trump, who has lambasted judges for ruling against his bid to restrict travel from certain Muslim-majority nations.

The committee is holding a four-day confirmation hearing for Gorsuch, a federal appeals court judge from Colorado.

"Rather than overplay their hand, Democratic senators should use the confirmation hearing to ask questions that reveal how Gorsuch thinks about legal questions, rather than what he thinks about particular issues", Bloomberg wrote in a column for his eponymous news agency.

"If you believe this has been a great plan to get a Trump nominee on the court, then you have to believe Trump was going to win to begin with", Graham said.

Democrats' liberal supporters are demanding they do everything within their power to stop Mr Gorsuch. In a letter to Democratic senators, groups including MoveOn.org, the Working Families Party and NARAL Pro-Choice America accused Democrats of failing "to demonstrate a strong, unified resistance" to Gorsuch. "We need you to do better". Two are Colorado's US senators: Michael Benet, a Democrat, and Cory Gardner, a Republican. There they displayed over a million signatures of people opposed to Gorsuch's nomination.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joked that he was certainly no fan of Trump during the campaign and made the case that Republicans didn't blockade Gorsuch's nomination to allow Trump to make a nomination because majority didn't believe Trump would win last November.

Former Senator Harry Reid of Nevada eliminated the filibuster on lower level court appointees while Democrats held the majority because he felt Republicans would unnecessarily deny Mr Obama's appointments. 'We must be clear: "This fight is not about defensive electoral politics, it's about our rights as Americans and our democracy as a whole'". "Because that would be an absolute shame if a man of this quality was put up to that neglect". Cruz challenged Democrats to say what has changed since then, calling their opposition to his Supreme Court nomination politically motivated. When it comes to the rules that protect public health and safety, Gorsuch is more radical than Scalia was. It is unclear if the GOP would be able to stand united enough to make the nuclear option happen.

Grassley said the committee is scheduled to vote April 3 on the Gorsuch nomination, with a full Senate vote expected early next month.

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