U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will face tough scrutiny at his Senate confirmation hearing starting on Monday, with Democrats seeking to make the case that he is a pro-business, social conservative insufficiently independent of the president.
WATCH LIVE VIDEO AT AT 11 a.m. ET:
In a bid to place hurdles in the way of Gorsuch’s expected confirmation by the Republican-controlled Senate, Democrats on the judiciary committee considering the nomination have said they will probe him on several fronts based mainly on his record as a federal appeals court judge and a Justice Department appointee under former President George W. Bush.
Nominated by President Donald Trump to fill a year-old vacancy on the court, Gorsuch is a conservative appeals court judge from Colorado. Cool-headed and amiable, he will likely try to engage senators without being pinned down on specifics.
Among questions Gorsuch will face will be whether he is sufficiently independent from Trump, who has criticized judges for ruling against his bid to restrict travel from Muslim-majority countries. Another line of attack previewed by Democratic leader Chuck Schumer is to focus on rulings Gorsuch, 49, has authored in which corporate interests won out over individual workers.
Democrats will also press Gorsuch on his role as a Justice Department lawyer under Bush from 2005 to 2006, when he helped defend controversial policies enacted after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, including the administration’s expansive use of aggressive interrogation techniques.
Gorsuch’ views on social issues, including a 2006 book he wrote in which he argued against the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia, will be discussed too.
Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, a plain-spoken Iowan, will chair the proceedings, which could go as long as four days, providing classic Washington political theater.
Trump nominated Gorsuch, 49, to replace conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016. If Gorsuch is approved by the Senate, as expected, he would restore a narrow 5-4 conservative majority on the court.
For months last year, Republicans refused to consider former Democratic President Barack Obama’s pick to fill the seat. The unusual Republican tactic blocked a leftward shift on the court.
Since Scalia’s death, the court has been divided equally 4-4 between conservatives and liberals.
Democrats face an uphill battle to block Gorsuch, who like all Supreme Court justices would serve for life if confirmed.
Republicans control 52 of the Senate’s 100 seats. Under present rules, Gorsuch would need 60 votes for confirmation. If Democrats stay unified and Gorsuch cannot muster 60, Republicans could change the rules to allow confirmation by simple majority.
Senators on the Judiciary Committee, which is holding the hearing, will give opening statements on Monday and then take turns asking questions of the nominee on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley and Andrew Chung; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Lisa Shumaker)
Democrats are finally advancing impeachment — but Pelosi is still reluctant: report
Democrats have finally begun an official impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. And a big reason for that is that impeachment backers have swayed the most critical ally of all: Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee — one of the House's key investigative bodies and the one responsible for debating articles of impeachment.
According to Politico, one person is still not sold on impeachment, however: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
Pelosi recently fumed to members of her caucus that the Judiciary Committee is moving too fast and is laying out a roadmap to impeachment without having whipped the votes to do it. "Feel free to leak this," she said.
‘Abhorrent’: Trump condemned after showing more concern for real estate than human beings in remarks on homelessness
"He's apparently more concerned with the doorways and streets than with the people who are homeless and sleeping on them."
President Donald Trump on Tuesday complained that California's homelessness crisis is harming the "prestige" of major cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, remarks that housing advocates said displayed more sympathy for wealthy real estate investors and property than the human beings suffering from soaring rent and lack of affordable homes.
The Internet pummels CNN for booking Lewandowski the morning after he admitted to lying on TV: ‘Why would you do this?’
Corey Lewandowski admitted to the House Judiciary Committee that he had lied in TV appearances -- so social media users were appalled that he was booked the following morning to appear on CNN.
President Donald Trump's former campaign manager was confronted with false statements he had made in appearances on MSNBC and CNN, where he was scheduled to appear at 8 a.m. on "New Day," according to the show's executive producer.