NFL Legend John Elway Urges Senate To Confirm Gorsuch

Mr. Gorsuch was nominated January 31 by President Trump for the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Gorsuch delivered a very personal opening statement, speaking of his Western upbringing and his parents and grandparents, and choking up as he hugged his wife, Louise, of 20 years, and talked about their two daughters. The judiciary committee has 11 Republicans and nine Democrats, and the GOP has a 52-48 advantage in the Senate as a whole.

Sen. Chris Coons said he was considering the nomination with an open mind, but could not hold back from rehashing over what he called the treatment of another nominee for the same seat.

No doubt there will be other smears. Richard Blumenthal said Neil Gorsuch, Trump's Supreme Court nominee, has a "special responsibility" to defend the independence of the judicial branch.

Questioning of Gorsuch will begin on Tuesday.

But Katyal also bemoaned the circumstances under which he was nominated, calling it "a tragedy of national proportions that Merrick Garland does not sit on the court".

The first day of hearings will end with testimony from Gorsuch. See here and here.

"The Senate's failure to do its duty with respect to Judge Garland was an embarrassment to this body and will be recorded in history and in the lives of millions of Americans", Bennet said.

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"This is quite a lot different", said Gorsuch, who appeared before the Judiciary Committee once before when he was a nominee for the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Gorsuch also served in the Justice Department during Bush's presidency.

Still, the hearing, which began yesterday, will allow Democratic senators to grill him on whether he is sufficiently independent from President Donald Trump, who has criticised judges for ruling against his bid to restrict travel from Muslim-majority countries. The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, indicated it would be a 10-hour day - and that's without including any breaks. "Our job is to determine whether Judge Gorsuch is a reasonable mainstream conservative or is he not", Feinstein said on Monday.

That assertion drew a quick response from Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley.

The FBI chief confirmed for the first time publicly that the his agency is investigating potential links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Meanwhile, Democrats on the committee raised concerns about Gorsuch's originalist philosophy as well as his views on the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 in favor of abortion rights.

Another Democrat now railing against Gorsuch is Wyden, D-Ore., who penned a critical statement citing Gorsuch's stance on assisted suicide, and insinuated he could not support him this time around.

Now a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver, Gorsuch has ruled in several cases touching on the rights of people with disabilities, a judicial record that many advocacy groups say is worrisome. Graham urged his Democratic colleagues to give Gorsuch the same deference. Patrick Leahy of Vermont put it.

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