Trump Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch faces Senate hearing

21 March, 2017, 08:03 | Author: Valerie Burke

"The Democrats of the Senate Judiciary Committee will extend a courtesy which Senate Republicans denied to Judge Garland; a respectful hearing and a vote", remarked Dem. Sen.

"I want to hear from you why Mr. Priebus would say that", Durbin said to Gorsuch.

Notably, the confirmation hearing provided Cornyn and other Republicans an opportunity to give unqualified praise to Trump.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Some Democrats also aimed their attacks at President Trump.

Comey, appearing before the House Intelligence Committee along with National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers, confirmed for the first time publicly on Monday that the FBI was investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, including communications between Trump associates and Russian officials. He has come under intense pressure - from both the left and right - to make a decision on the home-state judge.

His nomination has been overshadowed by Trump-related turmoil on several fronts, including attempts to impose a new travel ban against certain countries, the refuted Trump claim that his phone was wiretapped by then-President Obama, a probe into Russian meddling in the election, and the GOP drive to replace Obamacare.

Gorsuch's three-day hearing begins at 11 a.m.in the Hart Senate Office Building. Gorsuch's confirmation would generally restore the court's 5-4 conservative tilt, although Justice Anthony Kennedy, for whom Gorsuch clerked, has joined the liberals on cases involving gay rights, abortion rights and race. Gorsuch is President Trump's choice to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia who died a year ago.

Gorsuch has shown deep skepticism toward the so-called Chevron deference, a longstanding doctrine that calls on judges to defer to how federal agencies interpret key laws.

It's all part of the public relations battle that occurs with Supreme Court nominations in the U.S. Liberal and conservative groups raised millions of dollars to advocate for and against Gorsuch. Two are Colorado's US senators: Michael Benet, a Democrat, and Cory Gardner, a Republican.

SEN. CHARLES GRASSLEY: Judge, I'm afraid, over the next couple of days, you will get some questions that will cause you just to scratch your head.

Fellow Democrat Patrick Leahy said he was anxious that Mr Gorsuch's conservative method of interpreting the Constitution "goes beyond being a philosophy and becomes an agenda" that is anti-abortion, anti-environment and pro-business. Tomorrow, Guy will touch upon another attack from a former Democratic operative for Sen. "But I just don't think that's what a life in the law is about", Gorsuch, a judge on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said during a lengthy and personal opening statement. Michael Bennet, as well as Neal Katyal, the former acting solicitor general during the Obama administration who has been supportive of Gorsuch's nomination. It stood in direct contrast to the bluster and boasting of the modern political moment and of the president who nominated him.

Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch, reaches back to hold the hand of his wife Marie Louise Gorsuch on Monday.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer held a news conference last week with people that the New York Democrat said had been victimized by Gorsuch's legal decisions. If that doesn't happen, McConnell has the option of invoking the "nuclear option" to change Senate rules to allow Gorsuch to be confirmed with a simple majority of 51 votes. It follows that when judges consider laws permitting terminally ill people to enlist the help of doctors in their deaths, they should keep in mind that such acts "are categorically wrong". It usually either recommends a nominee favorably or unfavorably before sending the final vote to the full Senate.

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