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Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch in Senate hearing

21 March 2017, 09:15 | Gladys Abbott

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Judges' robes are a reminder "of the modest station we judges are meant to occupy in our democracy". "And I think judges from the west have a better understanding of that".

Rather, he said, a judge's plain black robes reflect a different role, representing independence.

He added: "If judges were just secret legislators, declaring not what the law is but what they would like it to be, the very idea of a government by the people and for the people would be at risk".

In their opening remarks, Republicans on the committee heaped plenty of praise on the federal judge.

Speaking after the hearing, committee chairman, GOP Sen.

Democrats, meanwhile, repeatedly invoked Garland, who was denied a hearing by Senate Republicans during an election year after Scalia's death in February 2016.

"I am deeply disappointed that it is under these circumstances that we begin these hearings", said Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. Gorsuch's reported statements perpetuate this stereotype and demand close scrutiny in his hearing this week.

Early on his clerkship, Feder said, he asked Gorsuch what he should read to improve his writing, and assumed the judge would recommend someone like legal writer Bryan Garner.

In his opening statement, Gorsuch he is "acutely aware of my own imperfections", but came to each of the more than 2,700 appeals cases he considered with the view that they were more than "just a [case] number or a name".

The Colorado judge was introduced, as is customary, by his home state's senators.

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Democrats expressed doubts about whether Gorsuch, now a judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, could be an independent voice, standing up to Trump or big corporations when necessary.

In a press conference last week, Senate democratic leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, cautioned that Gorsuch has important questions to answer about some of his opinions, most notably "his decisions he wrote that favored the powerful over the powerless".

Gorsuch said he has agreed with the majority opinion 99% of the time on the appeals court, belying criticism that he is somehow out of the mainstream.

Gorsuch, who President Donald Trump ned he could be fair to undocumented immigrants, workers alleging civil rights violations and those who are incarcerated.

Wardon, who does not have children, can't remember ever discussing maternity leave specifically with Gorsuch, but says they talked about work-life balance. "This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat", Sen.

If Gorsuch, nominated by Trump on Jan 31, is confirmed by the Senate, as expected, he would restore a narrow 5-4 conservative majority on the court.

The allegations by Jennifer Sisk and a second unidentified student who took a class under Gorsuch at the University of Colorado were first released by the the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) and the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) on 19 March 2017.

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.

"If you believe this has been a great plan to get a Trump nominee on the court, then you had to believe Trump was going to win to begin with", said Graham.

Some Democrats may vote to end a filibuster but also vote against Gorsuch. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) said. Garland's wait for a Senate hearing - one that never came - was the longest wait in U.S. Supreme Court history. "That is why the Senate Republicans kept this Supreme Court seat vacant for more than a year, and why they left 30 judicial nominees who had received bipartisan approval of this committee to die on the Senate calendar as President Obama left office". But delay tactics by Democrats could lead McConnell to exercise procedural maneuvers of his own to eliminate the 60-vote filibuster threshold now in place for Supreme Court nominations, and with it any Democratic leverage to influence the next Supreme Court fight. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. "And will you rubber-stamp a president whose administration has asserted that executive power is not subject to judicial review?"

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