Hatch urges Senate against politicizing Gorsuch hearing

Posted March 21, 2017

Gorsuch was recommended for the nomination by the conservative Federalist Society and others during last year's presidential campaign after Senate Republicans blocked former President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland.

Blumenthal said he would hold Gorsuch to the same standard on Roe v. Wade, which set a precedent establishing abortion as a fundamental right, and gun control laws. He was President Obama's pick to replace Scalia.

The hearing is expected to last three days, with opening statements followed by extended questioning from lawmakers and testimony by experts.

Mr Gorsuch, a judge on the Denver-based 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals, will also be pressed on his role as a Department of Justice lawyer under former President George W Bush from 2005-06. They joined advocacy organizations for an event in front of the Supreme Court last week.

Ms Perry said that though he is a conservative judge, Mr Gorsuch would be a "one for one" for Mr Scalia, known for his strict and politically conservative interpretation of the US Constitution.

The letter was dated Monday, the first day of Gorsuch's confirmation hearing for the supreme court.

Tuesday should bring the first round of questions and first indication whether the Democrats will give the nominee a rough time.

The nominee himself, Judge Neil Gorsuch of the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, seemed nearly an afterthought at times, sitting alone at the witness table, occasionally nodding or taking notes, as the 20 members of the Judiciary Committee took turns delivering lengthy and partisan opening statements.

"Judge Gorsuch has expressed hostility toward private civil rights litigation, calling such lawsuits "bad for the country, '" reads the advocates" correspondence to Sen.

"I don't know how we got here, but here's what I hope: we turn around and go back to where we were because what we are doing will destroy the judiciary over time", Graham said. That means Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) could force through his confirmation on a slim majority vote if the Democrats unite in opposition. Rather, Gorsuch "was very matter-of-fact in that we would face hard decisions", recalling his own late nights while he had a young child. "In his court decisions, Judge Gorsuch endorsed the lowest of expectations for students with disabilities, which allowed public schools to provide our highest-needs students with the bare minimum educational benefit". It will be interesting to see if Elway comments publicly on his Gorsuch endorsement. When asked about a particular area of law or case the Supreme Court has decided, the stock answers are, "That case is established precedent", "That issue may come before the Court, so I can not comment at this time" and "Let me give you a lecture about this area of the law" - the equivalent of laughing in the face of the question-asker.

If that happens, Democrats could lose the powerful tool to block any other future high court nominees while Trump is in office. Under present rules, Gorsuch would need 60 votes in order to secure confirmation. Some of them, including Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Jon Tester of Montana, say they are open-minded about Gorsuch.