As Gorsuch Confirmation Hearing Begins, Feinstein Calls Him 'An Extremist'

Schumer on Gorsuch Don’t change the rules change the nominee

Both Cruz and Texas' other GOP senator, John Cornyn, noted in their opening remarks that the Senate unanimously confirmed Gorsuch to the 10th Circuit in 2006.

Bitter partisanship marked the start of Senate confirmation hearings for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick on Monday, as Democrats angrily condemned Republicans for refusing to act on Barack Obama's nominee previous year and Republicans accused Democrats of playing politics. The seat has been vacant for 13 months, since the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016.

The hearings start at 11 a.m. EST on Monday, March 20.

Former Sen. Kelly Ayotte said Monday that she hopes there are at least eight Democrats who will support Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the current vacancy on the Supreme Court, and said people would do well to question the motivations of Democrats who would try to throw up potential blockades. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, criticized opponents of Gorsuch who "seem to think the confirmation requires a political agenda and a calculator". 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. Check this page for updates.

Krauthammer said Democrats will instead save that strategy for the next Supreme Court nomination battle, which could be coming up soon if Justice Anthony Kennedy retires. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he said he is prepared to grill Gorsuch on his positions on abortion rights and gun control.

Many Democrats contend Trump's party "stole" a Supreme Court seat by freezing out Garland.

More news: New Survey Shows Young Adults Dissatisfied with President Trump

Trump complicated the task for Gorsuch by saying during his presidential campaign that his Supreme Court nominees would be "pro-life", and that Roe would "automatically" be overturned once he had made enough appointments.

It is impossible to predict how many votes Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will get in his confirmation hearings, but Sen. Schumer said last week that he did not think Republicans wanted to go that route.

"Sometimes it's the individual who will win, sometimes it's the little guy, sometimes it's not", Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah said on the Bloomberg Law radio show Thursday.

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.

In a concurrence - and so this is a case where Judge Gorsuch made a decision to go out of his way and explain, "Here's what I think" - in Riddle v. Hickenlooper, a case involving limits on campaign contributions, Judge Gorsuch said that campaign contributions are - went out of his way to say that they are one of the most fundamentally protected parts of our freedom, and suggested that we might want to apply strict scrutiny to campaign contributions. "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 three million votes".

White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus has said that Mr Gorsuch is a judge with "the vision of Donald Trump".

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