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emfizz.com March 23, 2017


Supreme Court pick Gorsuch's maternity leave talk surfaces pre-confirmation hearing

21 March 2017, 12:04 | Terri Saunders

Chip Somodevilla Getty

Neil Gorsuch

A smiling, confident Judge Neil Gorsuch cruised through the first day of his Supreme Court hearing Monday by striking a tone of humility and idealism. On Monday, Elway shared those thoughts with the Senate Judiciary Committee in the form of a letter. But Democrats made clear on the first day that they were in no mood to "rubber stamp a nominee selected by extreme interest groups and nominated by a president who lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes", as Democratic Sen.

The Russian story line as well as Trump's verbal attacks on federal judges both during the campaign and as president have fed into Democratic efforts to force Gorsuch to break publicly with the man who nominated him.

"I think we're off to a good start", Republican Chuck Grassley, the committee's chairman, said afterward, with senators getting their first shot at questioning Gorsuch on Tuesday.

Senator Durbin expressed Democratic frustration over the Republicans' refusal to consider President Obama's pick to fill the seat. "Judges are not free to rewrite statutes to get results they believe are more just", he said.

Who is Neil Gorsuch, Supreme Court justice nominee?

There are 52 Republicans in the Senate, meaning that eight Democrats (or two of the Independents who caucus with them) would need to side with Republicans and vote to confirm the to the Supreme Court.

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Judge Merrick Garland, a chief judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, was nominated in 2016 to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Obama but Republicans refused to give Garland a confirmation hearing.

Gorsuch's confirmation is considered crucial for the Trump administration, who are filling a vacancy left by the death of justice Antonin Scalia. "I have decided cases for Native Americans seeking to protect tribal lands, for class actions like one that ensured compensation for victims of nuclear waste pollution by corporations in Colorado", he said. "We need to make sure our districts are not gerrymandered to where peoples' votes are diluted and finally we need to try to have some kind of control over the explosion of special interest money that again is distorting our democracy".

Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ranking Member Sen. "He's going to keep you busy". Gorsuch told several lawmakers privately that he was disheartened by Trump's attacks on judges who ruled against him over his immigration ban, but that didn't go far enough for Democrats. "Some of my colleagues seem to have rediscovered an appreciation for the need to confine each branch of government to its proper sphere". Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. "So the independence of the judiciary is more important than ever".

Committee Democrats noted Gorsuch has the chance to join the court only because Senate Republicans a year ago refused to consider Democratic former President Barack Obama's nomination of federal appellate judge Merrick Garland. The filibuster rule when invoked requires 60 of the 100 votes to advance a bill or nomination, contrasted with the simple 51-vote majority that applies in most cases.



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