Supreme Court Nominee's Rulings On ADA, IDEA Have Advocates Worried

Remigio Civitarese
Marzo 21, 2017

Judge Neil Gorsuch emphasized "the importance of an independent judiciary" on Monday in opening remarks to a Senate Judiciary Committee bitterly divided over his nomination to the Supreme Court. 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. After all, who really cares what the U.S. Constitution says?

Judge Gorsuch told several politicians privately that he was disheartened by Mr Trump's attacks on judges who ruled against him over his immigration ban, but that did not go far enough for Democrats. He contends that's important for Arizona where more than 81 percent of the land is controlled by the federal government.

"I didn't think it would've made any difference in terms of how other people voted", Graham said Monday.

Beyond the disability advocacy groups that signed the recent letter, over 100 civil and human rights organizations sent a separate correspondence last month outlining opposition to Gorsuch's confirmation on similar grounds.

Gorsuch was all smiles as he greeted senators and audience members before the session began.

Gardner's remarks fit that theme, painting Gorsuch as a judge who follows the written law without effort to interject his own policy preferences. Now, she said, it is the committee's task "to determine whether Judge Gorsuch is a reasonable mainstream conservative, or is he not?"

The California Democrat opened her comments by mentioning President Barack Obama's nominee for the same vacancy - federal appeals Judge Merrick Garland - whom Republicans blocked a year ago from ever getting such a confirmation hearing or vote.

If Sisk is correct, Gorsuch's advice could run afoul of anti-discrimination laws that prohibit prospective employers from making hiring decisions based on pregnancy or sex under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

When it was finally his turn to talk, a mild-mannered Gorsuch said he was "honored and humbled" to be before the Senate Judiciary Committee and extolled the values of consensus - even as he echoed the Republican's condemnation of activist judges who "legislate" from the bench.

In the presidential election between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, Cruz said, "the people chose originalism, textualism and the rule of law". "'Documents provided by the Justice Department demonstrate you had a leading role in litigation and strategy over executive power and national security matters that have not yet been identified to the committee, ' Feinstein (D-Calif.) wrote to Gorsuch".

The debate is complicated by the bad blood between Democrats and Republicans over former president Barack Obama's final Supreme Court nominee.

Though Gorsuch's confirmation requires 60 votes, McConnell could trigger what is called the "nuclear option" to nominate Gorsuch with a simple majority if Democrats choose to filibuster. "I didn't believe it", said Sen.

The hearing will last four days, from Monday through Thursday.

Republicans control the Senate 52-48.

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