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Senator Richard Blumenthal discusses Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch

20 March 2017, 05:54 | Patty Hardy

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C-SPANOn Monday the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin confirmation hearings on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Gorsuch's record shows that he is not that nominee.

The Democrats already have telegraphed another aspect of their strategy: If the nomineedodges, or refuses to answer their questions, that will be more fodder for their opposition. "A fellow Coloradan, Judge Gorsuch is an exceptional jurist who will bring a Western perspective to the Supreme Court".

Schumer appeared on Capitol Hill with several individual plaintiffs that Gorsuch ruled against in his position as a judge on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Democrats plan to ask about the case of Alphonse Maddin, a truck driver fired for abandoning his trailer on the side of a road after waiting several hours in subzero temperatures for a fix truck. If my colleagues and I do our jobs properly, the hearing will focus on Gorsuch's background, his temperament and his approach to judging.

Carrie Severino, chief counsel and policy director of the Judicial Crisis Network, thinks Gorsuch will likely get some support from Democrats.

On the television airwaves across the country, meanwhile, pro-Gorsuch ads have aired targeting red-state Democrats - paid for by the JCN and other conservative groups such as the National Rifle Association and official party outfits like the National Republican Senatorial Committee. But as they say, elections have consequences. Democrats have urged Republican leaders against such a move; Trump, meanwhile, has endorsed it, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the option remains on the table. "He would be well-advised to express sympathy and concerns about some of the parties he ruled against as he explains to the committee that he had to apply the law as written, as he saw it".

The Supreme Court has recognized and protected a number of unwritten rights over the years, such as the right to privacy, the right of parents to educate their children in private schools, and the right to gay marriage.

Look for Gorsuch to refer to something called the "Ginsburg standard". Doing so, Ginsburg said, "would display disdain for the entire judicial process". It also includes a subtle threat: Attempts to roll back Roe vs. Wade, a landmark abortion case, would serve "as a rally cry for women everywhere".

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JCN President Carrie Severino, a former clerk of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, said that this obstruction would be unprecedented in a Supreme Court nomination process. Alito said that "there needs to be a special justification for overruling a prior precedent". They joined advocacy organizations for an event in front of the Supreme Court last week. "I think this one may be disappointing for those who were hoping for a lot of fireworks, because he'll get through one way or another".

President Donald Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court will be introduced on Monday by an unlikely suspect: a former top lawyer in the Obama administration who is now spearheading an attack on Trump's revised travel ban.

Gorsuch's hearing is expected to last until Thursday.

"In every single meeting, [Gorsuch] has emphasized the importance of the independence of the judiciary and how seriously he takes it", Ayotte said. How much will he try to distance himself from the president now?

Jonathan Adler, a law professor who contributes to The Volokh Conspiracy blog, noted last week that while "progressive activists may be itching for a fight ... many progressive attorneys and legal experts recognize the merits of the Gorsuch nomination".

Law professors often ask provocative questions in the course of teaching. "I don't accept the view that they are kabuki theater. We've really reached a new low".

For more news, visit Bloomberg.

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