Neil Gorsuch faces Senate Judiciary Committee

Monday was the first day of a three-day series of confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.

At least one member, and probably more, will note that some of the committee Democrats were in the Senate when Gorsuch was easily confirmed by voice vote in 2006 to the US 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The court's ideological balance is at stake.

Colorado's two senators - Democrat Michael Bennet and Republican Cory Gardner - are introducing Gorsuch, a highly credentialed and conservative member of the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The seat was held by Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February of 2016.

He is confirmed with at least 51 votes after there are 60 votes to end debate, ending the threat of a filibuster.

However, Republicans could change Senate rules to require only 51 votes to confirm Gorsuch - the so-called nuclear option.

So how are Pennsylvania's senators expected to vote on the nominee? The next Supreme Court justice will help determine whether our courts will serve the interests of all of us or bend to the will of the powerful moneyed few who helped place them on the court. Schumer said that he has a "strong presumption against" Gorsuch but that he would wait until after he heard the judge's formal testimony before Congress before making up his mind.

Ms Perry mentioned that was not the case with Justice David Souter was seen as a "stealth nominee" because of his lack of federal judicial experience and absence of many published legal opinions. He is President Trump's pick for the Supreme Court.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) meets with Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch in his Senate office.

In 2013, then Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid went nuclear to prevent filibusters on cabinet nominees and lower court judges. These include Hobby Lobby, where he ruled that the chain wasn't required to provide free contraception coverage; A case where he ruled that a trucking company was justified in firing a trucker who abandoned his cargo when his vehicle broke down in sub-zero temperatures; and a college professor who Gorsuch said had no claim for discrimination after she was sacked for taking time off to recover from cancer.

"I'm deeply disappointed it's under these circumstances that we begin these hearings", the top Democrat on the committee, Sen. Sixty seven Senators would have to vote to not give Democrats a way to oppose Mr Gorsuch's nomination.

Leahy criticized Trump for relying on conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society previous year to vet and recommend his list of potential Supreme Court picks. Had Gorsuch made the comments Sisk recalled, Hauptman said, "I would remember - the statements would have greatly upset me".

"And so I just think that you really have to ask yourselves if they're going to block Judge Gorsuch, are they doing it just to block him and just to be obstructionists?" she said. A study performed by legal scholars determined that the 49-year-old's ideology is in line with that of his predecessor Scalia, a favorite among conservatives. Most responsible employers avoid the kind of questions Gorsuch allegedly suggested, if for no other reason than because such questions offer evidence that the company did intend to discriminate on the basis of a woman's future plans to become pregnant - and potentially open the company up to liability.

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