Trump's US Supreme Court nominee to face senators in marathon hearing

Andrew Cummings
March 20, 2017

A former law student of Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, alleges that in a course she took from Gorsuch at the University of Colorado Law School previous year, the judge told his class that employers, specifically law firms, should ask women seeking jobs about their plans for having children and implied that women manipulate companies starting in the interview stage to extract maternity benefits. As a result, Gorsuch has sailed through the early parts of the nomination process, meeting with more than 70 senators and getting very little pushback. Eight of those nominations were withdrawn, not voted on or rejected by the Senate.

In an op-Ed in the Globe today, she rails against the Harvard alum, saying his prestigious pedigree doesn't change the fact that he is, by her characterization, a far-right jurist in the pocket of big business, and that, "when it comes to the rules that protect public health and safety, Gorsuch is more radical than [the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin] Scalia was".

As it stands, Republicans control 52 of 100 seats in the upper chamber - enough to confirm Gorsuch with a majority vote but not enough to clear the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster.

"If a nominee can not get 60 votes, you don't change the rules, you change the nominee", Schumer said. This is the point at which those members who are committed to blocking that nominee's confirmation have given the two floor speeches allotted to them under Rule XIX. The support of a simple majority of the members present and voting is sufficient for confirmation. Senators from the president's party toss softballs that let the nominee display his or her erudition, while opposing senators ask "gotcha" questions that anybody skilled enough to be nominated can evade easily.

Anthony L. François, a senior attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation, also says he believes this is the likeliest scenario.

Judge Neil Gorsuch will appear Monday before senators looking to pin him down on his philosophy - and some will air grievances about why Gorsuch is even here at all.

In the piece, Brettschneider asserts that Gorsuch is critical of the doctrine set forth in Griswold v. CT (1965), which is the doctrine (sometimes referred to as the right to privacy or autonomy) that recognizes couples have the right to make choices in intimate matters relating to contraception, procreation, child-rearing, and marriage.

"It would be no surprise to me if senators in red states who are up for re-election in 2018 voted with the interest of their constituents rather than embracing the partisan gridlock [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck Schumer is advocating", Severino said.

Sisk complained at the time to a dean and says of her motivation, "I did think he was a good professor". Some Democrats have already signaled their opposition to Gorsuch's nomination, although it is unclear how many of them there are.

Already, GOP groups and their allies have put pressure on Democrats who are up for re-election in 2018 and represent states that voted for Trump past year - a list that includes Jon Tester of Montana and Joe Donnelly of Indiana.

Gorsuch going down in defeat, according to Malcolm, is not probable. "'Gorsuch's nomination represents an imminent threat to America's most cherished rights and most vulnerable citizens, and millions of Americans across the country are demanding that Democratic leadership use everything in their power to block it, ' the alliance said". Again. Now once more they warn the GOP against invoking the nuclear option. The obvious response is that Reid didn't have a Supreme Court opening at the time that required it, but no one doubted that he would have made that change had Republicans not had the majority when Merrick Garland was nominated.

Justice Antonin Scalia received a confirmation vote of 98-0.

We deserve, and need, a consensus justice on our high court whose loyalty is to all of the American people and our American values, not one president nor one party.

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