Neil Gorsuch Accused of Criticizing 'Many Women' for Misusing Maternity Leave

Glenn Johnson  ZUMA Press  Newscom

The California Democrat opened her comments by mentioning President Barack Obama's nominee for the same vacancy - federal appeals Judge Merrick Garland - whom Republicans blocked previous year from ever getting such a confirmation hearing or vote.

"The nominee before us today is not President Trump", said Sen. "At this point, there's no reason to believe that Neil Gorsuch is going to be that independent voice we need right now". Neil previously was a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. "That's what I want to see from Gorsuch".

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) said recently that Gorsuch is "out of the mainstream" and can not be an independent arbiter on the court.

The statement kicked off a day of opening statements - and opening statements only - as a kind of appetizer for the main course on Tuesday, when Gorsuch will endure 30-minute rounds of questions from the 20 committee members. Most Democrats are intent on digging in their heels to oppose Gorsuch, both on ideological grounds and in retaliation against Republicans' refusal to hold hearings on Merrick Garland, Obama's nominee past year to replace Scalia. Not one senator voted against Gorsuch's confirmation.

NARAL Pro-Choice America joined with Daily Kos in demanding a delay in the Supreme Court hearings in an emailed statement. Democrats will be looking for how much Gorsuch is willing to separate himself from the president on contentious issues like the legality of the Trump administration's travel restrictions from six Muslim-majority countries. He undoubtedly will garner the votes necessary to get out of committee, but he will likely need 60 votes for confirmation. Pat Toomey do not serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is holding the hearing.

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Gorsuch said the first case he wrote as a judge to reach the U.S. Supreme Court was upheld with two liberal justices concurring and two conservatives dissenting.

"I will do all in my power", he said, "to be a faithful servant of the Constitution and laws of this great nation".

But it is unclear if they will try to block Mr Gorsuch's confirmation. It was meant to impugn Gorsuch's integrity but nobody except the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee put any credence in the out-of-the blue letter sent at the eleventh hour to the committee by a former student. Drawing on the work of conservative legal scholar Robert Bork, Gorsuch argued that the Due Process Clause has been stretched "beyond recognition" when the Court interpreted it to be "the repository of other substantive rights not expressly enumerated in the text of the Constitution or its amendments". In my mind, I consider Judge Gorsuch as a candidate to fill the Garland seat on the Supreme Court.

"In my decade on the bench, I have tried to treat all who come to court fairly and with respect".

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