California Women's Caucus sends 'advice letter' to Trump's Supreme Court nominee

Angelica Greene
March 20, 2017

Trump complicated the task for Gorsuch by saying during his presidential campaign that his Supreme Court nominees would be "pro-life", and that Roe would "automatically" be overturned once he had made enough appointments.

Bovard said it is also likely that Gorsuch will receive the 60 votes needed to end debate because Democrats from red states will be "loath to be seen as obstructionist". Gorsuch's "originalist" views about constitutional interpretation, a controversial approach, will be described by his defenders as the legal equivalent of common sense, which again, only a lefty radical who despises constitutional limitations on Big Government could possibly oppose. Chairman Grassley will open, followed by ranking member Feinstein, and then alternating back and forth between Republicans and Democrats-Hatch, Leahy, Graham, Durbin, Cornyn, Whitehouse, Lee, Klobuchar, Cruz, Franken, Sasse, Coons, Flake, Blumenthal, Crapo, Hirono-and then finishing with the two most junior Republicans on the committee, Tillis and Kennedy.

President Donald Trump has nominated him to fill the vacancy created when Justice Antonin Scalia died in February of a year ago.

Republicans control 52 of the Senate's 100 seats, so they'll need the support of eight Democrats to reach the 60-vote threshold required under current rules to bring Gorsuch's nomination up for a vote. Gorsuch then spent more than a decade in private practice, where he represented both plaintiffs and defendants in complex civil litigation.

Who is Neil Gorsuch?

Democrats face considerable pressure from their base to oppose the nomination, especially since Republicans refused to consider Merrick Garland, President Obama's nominee to fill Scalia's seat previous year.

In his 2006 book The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, Judge Gorsuch sharply criticized the Supreme Court for protecting unenumerated rights via the Due Process Clause, claiming that the clause is "stretched beyond recognition" when it is held to be "the repository of other substantive rights not expressly enumerated in the text of the Constitution or its amendments". The New York Times reported last week that "Democrats have zeroed in on their most prominent planned line of attack: Gorsuch's rulings have favored the powerful and well connected".

Given the administration's disdain for the judiciary, any nominee to the Supreme Court, particularly by this president, must be able to demonstrate independence from this president.

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The first day of the hearings Monday will feature opening statements from senators and Gorsuch himself, according to the Associated Press.

In a letter to leading members of the Senate Judiciary Committee obtained by BuzzFeed News, 19 organizations anxious Gorsuch may stymie attempts to expand legal protections, saying, "We have concluded that his views on civil rights issues are fundamentally at odds with the notion that LGBT people are entitled to equality, liberty, justice and dignity under the law".

Senate Democrats are facing pressure from the left to oppose Gorsuch. Now, they want to smear him for discussing ethics in an ethics class.

Like all Supreme Court justices he would serve for life if confirmed. A recent survey showed that 91 percent of Democratic congressional staffers expect him to be confirmed, as Democratic senators have failed to find any salient items that would merit disqualification. Questioning will begin on Tuesday, and votes in committee and on the Senate floor are expected early next month.

Yale law professor Don Elliott, a former general counsel of the Environmental Protection Agency who knew Gorsuch when he was a Department of Justice lawyer, said Gorsuch is "really quite independent".

"I honestly don't remember", said Bennet when asked when they first met one another.

But a senator may also conscientiously determine that Judge Gorsuch's personal qualifications do not overcome the damage that would come from rewarding unprecedented Republican obstructionism in 2016.

Other reports by GizPress

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