Confirmation Hearings Begin For Judge Neil Gorsuch 09:51

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The Senate Judiciary Committee kicks off almost a week of nomination hearings Monday on Neil Gorsuch, the 10th Circuit judge President Donald Trump picked for the Supreme Court's vacant ninth seat. "And when our judges don't respect this limited power. they take from the American people the right to govern themselves". The 49-year-old Coloradan told the Senate Judiciary Committee he has tried to be a "neutral and independent" judge and has ruled both for and against disabled students, prisoners and workers alleging civil rights violations. That means abortion, gay rights, the constitutionality of government regulations, gun control, the role of money in politics and corporate concentration in the economy are all going to be rehashed with Gorsuch's views as them as the focal point. Dianne Feinstein (D. -Calif), the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, invoked the shunned judge in her opening statements. And Connecticut Democratic Sen. The group stockpiled $10 million in money in advance of a looming Supreme Court fight. Republicans declined to hold a confirmation hearing for Garland, and President Donald Trump nominated Gorsuch - a judicial originalist - after assuming the presidency in January. But Blumenthal said the nominee needs to make a statement "publicly and explicitly and directly". Democratic groups are pushing senators to not confirm Gorsuch, pointing to problematic rulings and demanding that the Democrats stand in unity against the nominee. "I'm looking for a judge, not an ideologue", Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana said.

Actual questioning is to begin Tuesday.

The committee expects a vote on Monday, April 3.

According to Sisk's account, Gorsuch was teaching a legal ethics class at the school in April 2016 when he turned a general conversation about professional lawyers' work-life balance into a discussion focused specifically on pregnant women. Grassley told reporters after the first day of Gorsuch's confirmation hearings that the nomination would go immediately to the floor after that.

Even while insisting they would evaluate Gorsuch fairly, several spoke angrily about the treatment of Judge Merrick Garland, Obama's Supreme Court nominee, who was denied even a hearing for 10 months a year ago by Senate Republicans. The confirmation hearing is happening 13 months after Justice Antonin Scalia died, creating a vacancy on the supreme court.

"The American people played a very direct role in helping choose this nominee".

"Democrats have failed to demonstrate a strong, unified resistance to this nominee despite the fact that he is an ultra-conservative jurist who will undermine our basic freedoms and threaten the independence of the federal judiciary", they wrote.

On Thursday (or perhaps starting late Wednesday), the various panels of witnesses will testify.

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Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy said he would demand "real answers" to questions he has about Gorsuch's judicial philosophy. "His track record shows that he would not be a mainstream Supreme Court Justice".

"We believe that we're not trying to be all things to all people", she said.

Symone Sanders, a spokeswoman for Priorities, said the group made its decision after internal polling revealed that the Obamacare fight was far more "potent" than the Gorsuch one.

"You're not a politician running for election, judge, as you know", Cornyn said. If I thought that were true, I'd hang up the robe. "But I just don't think that's what a life in the law is about", Gorsuch said.

The opinions confirm that Gorsuch is conservative; a point cheered by Tea Party Patriots and FreedomWorks activists who rallied on Capitol Hill the Friday afternoon before the hearing. "She taught me that headlines are fleeting; courage lasts", Gorsuch said.

Several of the more liberal Senate Democrats have already announced plans to oppose Gorsuch and seek to block his nomination from coming to a final vote. "He was likewise confirmed by the entire United States Senate by a voice vote without a single Democrat speaking a word of opposition".

Republicans have a 52-48 majority, so at least eight Democrats and independents will have to vote with Republicans.

After reviewing some of the documents, Sen.

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