Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the panel’s top Democrat, said the panel should try to determine whether Gorsuch is “a reasonable mainstream conservative”.
Many of the Democrats are ready to put up a fight, having not forgiven the Republicans for blocking a confirmation hearing on Judge Merrick Garland, the highly regarded, liberal appeals court judge who was President Obama’s choice to replace Scalia. Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing begins on March 20th and both sides of the political aisle are prepping for a battle that has been almost 14 months in the making. Considering how little anyone knew about the 49 year-old Colorado Appeals Court judge it is a hasty timeline, and one that some Democrats say isn’t long enough.
Hatch advised Gorsuch to resist efforts to compromise his impartiality by pledging to adhere to litmus tests to decide future cases. After the event with senators and progressives in front of the court last week, volunteers and staff delivered petitions with over a million signatures, they said, urging senators from both parties to oppose Gorsuch’s nomination. Either way, it seems a pretty sure bet that Gorsuch will become the nation’s next Supreme Court justice.
Furthermore, in that same book, Gorsuch questioned whether the Supreme Court had any business defending any sort of unenumerated constitutional rights under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.
In a day of lengthy opening statements, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley lauded Gorsuch as a brilliant and capable jurist. However, the Democrats could signal they’re willing to stand up to Gorsuch and Trump if they drill deep into particular aspects of his philosophy, such as whether he really believes the Constitution should be interpreted based on how it was originally understood.
“In recent months I’ve heard that “now more than ever” we need a justice who is independent, and who respects the separation of powers”, Grassley said.
“Senate Republicans made a big show previous year about respecting the voice of the American people in this process”, said Sen.
Instead, he has said he would continue reviewing Gorsuch’s record and would “closely follow his answers” at the Judiciary Committee hearing before a final decision on his vote.
“I think you will see questions by senators about President Trump’s attacks on judges, and how Judge Gorsuch feels about that”.
In a speech on the Senate floor a week ago, McConnell touted the fact that Gorsuch had just been rated as “well qualified” by the American Bar Association, which is made up of more than 400,000 attorneys, law students and others interested in the legal profession. It’s unclear whether Republicans will have those votes, meaning Democrats have the ability to block the nomination. “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”. A chief target: 10 Democrats from states Trump won in 2016 who will face voters in next year’s midterm elections. 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.