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In Gorsuch hearings, questions of religious liberty and the law

21 March, 2017, 09:14 | Author: Mae Harvey
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Even while insisting they would evaluate Gorsuch fairly, several spoke angrily about the treatment of Judge Merrick Garland, Obama's Supreme Court nominee, who was denied even a hearing for 10 months previous year by Senate Republicans.

"You should be concerned about the preservation of our constitutional order and, most importantly, the separation of powers", he said. "America needs a Supreme Court justice who will protect the Constitution, not one who will countenance faith or fear of some, as a justification for infringing the liberty of many".

The grilling began on Capitol Hill as Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch went before the Senate Judiciary Committee. That has led some to predict Democrats will try to block Gorsuch.

Gorsuch touted his successful record as a judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, saying that "97 percent of the 2,700 cases I've decided were decided unanimously - and that I've been in the majority 99 percent of the time".

"These days we sometimes hear judges cynically described as politicians in robes, seeking to enforce their own politics rather than striving to apply the law impartially".

It is clear to me through both our conversation and thorough examination of his record that Judge Gorsuch will decide cases fairly based on our Constitution and laws.

In their opening remarks, Republicans on the committee heaped plenty of praise on the federal judge.

The hearing opened with Chairman Sen.

Democrats repeatedly used their time Monday to contrast Gorsuch's consideration with GOP refusal a year ago to take up Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's pick for the seat vacated by the death of Antonin Scalia.

Ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., began her opening statement by slamming the GOP for its "unprecedented treatment" of former President Barack Obama's nominee Merrick Garland, who was denied a confirmation hearing. Judge Gorsuch specifically targeted females and maternity leave.

He and his colleagues have agreed and disagreed when it comes to New Mexico cases.

The Colorado judge was introduced, as is customary, by his home state's senators. In 2006, the Senate confirmed him to a seat on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Still, Democratic denunciations of Republican obstructionism quickly turned to standard ideological barbs, trained primarily on Gorsuch's originalist sympathies.

Gorsuch, who President Donald Trump ned he could be fair to undocumented immigrants, workers alleging civil rights violations and those who are incarcerated.

Tuesday should bring the first round of questions and first indication whether the Democrats will give the nominee a rough time. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. "Now they are arguing that the Senate should rubber stamp a nominee selected by extreme interest groups and nominated by a president who lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes".

The allegations by Jennifer Sisk and a second unidentified student who took a class under Gorsuch at the University of Colorado were first released by the the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) and the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) on 19 March 2017. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has expressed confidence that Gorsuch can get 60 votes.

And U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, called Gorsuch's nomination - following the stalled Garland process - part of a "Republican strategy to capture our judicial branch of government", though he added that "in spite of all of this, you are entitled a hearing on merits".

"The nominee before us today is not President Trump", Sen.

"It was not Neil Gorsuch's job to make policy decisions about how to conduct the affairs of state in connection with the war on terror", said Leonard Leo, a senior official on leave from the conservative Federalist Society who is advising Trump on the Supreme Court. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.). 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. 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.

"The Judiciary Committee once stood against a court-packing scheme that would have eroded judicial independence".

Republicans have fervently defended Gorsuch's qualifications to be a justice on the highest court in the country.



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