Grassley flips from roadblock to cakewalk on Supreme Court

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced his expectation that the full Senate will vote on Judge Gorsuch's nomination by the end of that week, on April 7 at the latest.

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. "As a native of Colorado, Neil has demonstrated tremendous intelligence, character and fairness while serving for more than a decade on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit".

The first day of the hearings Monday will feature opening statements from senators and Gorsuch himself.

Democrats' liberal supporters are demanding they do everything within their power to stop Mr Gorsuch.

In order to get those 60 votes for his nomination to proceed, Gorsuch would need eight Democrats to vote with Republicans, assuming all Republicans back Trump's pick.

Gorsuch is expected to clear both votes, considering Republicans have the Senate majority.

The Texas senator also celebrated Gorsuch's legal credentials and the approach he brings to the bench during the hearing. "It's a lifetime appointment on the nation's highest court".

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Jennifer Sisk, a former student of Judge Neil Gorsuch's, informed the Senate Judiciary Committee about a class discussion in which the federal judge and law professor argued that companies can and should ask women interviewing for jobs about their pregnancy plans.

Advocates of a politicized judiciary "seem to think that the confirmation process requires only a political agenda and a calculator", Hatch said.

Opening statements are underway, with each of the 20 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee offering up to 10 minutes of remarks.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., joked that he was certainly no fan of Trump during the campaign and made the case that Republicans didn't blockade Garland's nomination to allow Trump to make a nomination because majority didn't believe Trump would win. This should take the balance of the day on Wednesday, after which we expect the actual hearing to conclude.

Now, Democrats say the past year amounts to a Republican attempt to pack the courts with politically conservative appointees.

Now a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver, Gorsuch has ruled in several cases touching on the rights of people with disabilities, a judicial record that many advocacy groups say is worrisome. Graham urged his Democratic colleagues to give Gorsuch the same deference. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. "The blockade of Chief Judge Merrick Garland was never grounded in principle or precedent". "The American people have a right to know precisely how Judge Gorsuch's appointment to the Supreme Court would impact their rights, freedoms, and liberties".

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