Grassley supports Gorsuch nomination, calls filibuster threat a “smokescreen”

Grassley supports Gorsuch nomination, calls filibuster threat a “smokescreen”The Senate Judiciary Committee concluded its confirmation hearing for Judge Neil Gorsuch this afternoon. After undergoing two days of questioning, the nominee himself was not present at today’s proceedings, which featured a variety of witnesses. Unsurprisingly, Gorsuch has secured the vote of at least one senator, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the committee, […]

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Grassley supports Gorsuch nomination, calls filibuster threat a “smokescreen”

The Senate Judiciary Committee concluded its confirmation hearing for Judge Neil Gorsuch this afternoon. After undergoing two days of questioning, the nominee himself was not present at today’s proceedings, which featured a variety of witnesses. Unsurprisingly, Gorsuch has secured the vote of at least one senator, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the committee, who spoke briefly with the press after adjourning the hearing. Motioning to the witness table, Grassley said he did not understand how anyone could oppose Gorsuch’s nomination after “the performance of this guy for 22 hours.” Grassley further dismissed indications by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that Schumer would support a filibuster, which Amy Howe covered this morning. “We aren’t going to talk about a filibuster, or even worry about it,” Grassley continued, calling the threat a “smokescreen.” He encouraged a return to “normalcy,” which he described as “dispassionate regard to making a decision on people for the Supreme Court.” Grassley said earlier this week that he hopes to hold a committee vote on the nomination next Monday.

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Schumer announces “no” vote on Gorsuch nomination, would support filibuster

Schumer announces “no” vote on Gorsuch nomination, would support filibusterThe confirmation hearing for Judge Neil Gorsuch continues today, as senators hear from a variety of witnesses who are testifying for and against Gorsuch’s nomination to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. However, this morning’s biggest news on the Gorsuch nomination came from outside the hearing room. In an announcement […]

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Schumer announces “no” vote on Gorsuch nomination, would support filibuster

The confirmation hearing for Judge Neil Gorsuch continues today, as senators hear from a variety of witnesses who are testifying for and against Gorsuch’s nomination to fill the vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. However, this morning’s biggest news on the Gorsuch nomination came from outside the hearing room. In an announcement made over Twitter this morning, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced that he “cannot support Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court.” That announcement was hardly a surprise. And because Republicans currently hold 52 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate, they wouldn’t need Schumer’s vote to confirm Gorsuch on a straight up-or-down vote. However, Schumer also seemed to suggest that he would support a filibuster of the Gorsuch nomination. Under the current Senate rules, if the Democrats were to threaten a filibuster, Republicans would need at least 60 votes to force a vote on the nomination – a process known as “cloture.” Schumer warned that “Judge Gorsuch’s nomination will face a cloture vote & as I’ve said, he will have to earn sixty votes for confirmation.” Schumer’s vote on cloture, he indicated, will be “no.” There was no indication yet, though, that 40 senators would vote against cloture to sustain a filibuster. A filibuster would put the ball in the Republicans’ court, possibly leading them to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, which would allow Gorsuch to be confirmed by a simple majority. Democrats made a similar change, known as invoking the “nuclear option,” to confirm lower-court nominees in 2013. That move drew strong condemnation at the time from Sen. Mitch McConnell, now the Senate Majority Leader, who would be left with a difficult choice.

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Live blog of confirmation hearing (Day Four)

Live blog of confirmation hearing (Day Four)We are live-blogging the fourth day of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Join us.

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Live blog of confirmation hearing (Day Four)

We are live-blogging the fourth day of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Join us.

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Afternoon round-up: Day three of Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing

Afternoon round-up: Day three of Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation hearingToday the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding the third day of its hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Early coverage of today’s proceedings, which has so far featured round two of the senators’ questioning and will feature a third round this evening, comes from Adam Liptak, Charlie Savage, Matt […]

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Afternoon round-up: Day three of Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee is holding the third day of its hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Early coverage of today’s proceedings, which has so far featured round two of the senators’ questioning and will feature a third round this evening, comes from Adam Liptak, Charlie Savage, Matt Flegenheimer and Carl Hulse of The New York Times, Lawrence Hurley and Andrew Chung of Reuters, various contributors at NPR, Elise Viebeck, Robert Barnes and Ed O’Keefe of The Washington Post, Mark Sherman and Erica Werner of the Associated Press, Richard Wolf of USA Today, Seung Min Kim and Josh Gerstein of Politico, Debra Cassens Weiss of the ABA Journal, Matt Ford of The Atlantic and Ashley Killough of CNN.

Commentary on the hearings comes from Ilya Shapiro for Washington Examiner, Elizabeth Wydra for The Huffington Post, J. Douglas Smith for The Daily Beast, Lisa Keen of Keen News Service, Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg, the editorial board of USA Today and Ronald Cass at USA Today. Ian Millhiser of ThinkProgress discusses the court’s ruling this morning in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, which overturned a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit that employed a legal standard Gorsuch had applied in a previous 10th Circuit opinion.

Damon Root of Reason’s Hit & Run Blog and Ilya Shapiro and Frank Garrison for the Cato Institute look at aspects of Gorsuch’s jurisprudence.

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Live blog of confirmation hearing (Day Three)

Live blog of confirmation hearing (Day Three)We are live-blogging the third day of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Join us.

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Live blog of confirmation hearing (Day Three)

We are live-blogging the third day of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Join us.

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Afternoon round-up: Day two of Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing

Afternoon round-up:  Day two of Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation hearingToday the Senate Judiciary Committee held the second day of its hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Early coverage of today’s proceedings, which featured round one of the senators’ questioning, comes from Nina Totenberg of NPR, who is also commenting live here, Matt Flegenheimer, Adam Liptak, Carl Hulse and […]

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Afternoon round-up:  Day two of Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee held the second day of its hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Early coverage of today’s proceedings, which featured round one of the senators’ questioning, comes from Nina Totenberg of NPR, who is also commenting live here, Matt Flegenheimer, Adam Liptak, Carl Hulse and Charlie Savage of The New York Times, Lawrence Hurley and Andrew Chung of Reuters, Greg Stohr and Laura Litvan of Bloomberg, Ed O’Keefe, Robert Barnes and Sean Sullivan of The Washington Post, Erica Werner and Mark Sherman of the Associated Press, as well as Jeff Donn, Andrew Rafferty of NBC News, Alexander Bolton and Lydia Wheeler of The Hill, Richard Wolf of USA Today, Zoe Tillman of Buzzfeed, Seung Min Kim and Josh Gerstein of Politico, Debra Cassens Weiss of ABA Journal, Matt Ford of The Atlantic, Ian Hanchett of Breitbart, Tierney Sneed of Talking Points Memo, as well as Esme Cribb, Judson Berger of Fox News, and Ashley Killough and Ariane de Vogue of CNN.

Commentary comes from Garrett Epps for The Atlantic, J. Bishop Grenwell for the National Review, Emily Martin for U.S. News, Ilya Shapiro for the Washington Examiner, Jay Wexler for McSweeney’s, Erwin Chemerinsky for NY Daily News, Jed Handelsman Shugerman for Slate, as well as Mark Joseph Stern, who has a separate post here, Christina Cauterucci, and Dahlia Lithwick. Additional commentary comes from Allegra Chapman for U.S. News, Sarah Posner for The Washington Post, Marjorie Cohn for Truthout, Todd A. Cox for Medium, Brady Zadrozny for The Daily Beast, Rick Pildes for Balkinization, Corey Brettschneider for The New York Times, Paul Kane for The Washington Post, Paul Callan of CNN,  Emily Crockett of Vox, as well as Sean Illing, Steven Ertelt of LifeNews, and Ian Millhiser of ThinkProgress.

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Live blog of confirmation hearing (Day Two)

Live blog of confirmation hearing (Day Two)We are live-blogging the second day of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Join us.

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Live blog of confirmation hearing (Day Two)

We are live-blogging the second day of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Join us.

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Afternoon round-up: First day of Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing

Afternoon round-up: First day of Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation hearingToday the Senate Judiciary Committee held the first day of its hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Early coverage of today’s proceedings, which featured opening statements by senators and the nominee, comes from Matt Flegenheimer, Carl Hulse, Charlie Savage and Adam Liptak of The New York Times, Lawrence Hurley […]

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Afternoon round-up: First day of Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee held the first day of its hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Early coverage of today’s proceedings, which featured opening statements by senators and the nominee, comes from Matt Flegenheimer, Carl Hulse, Charlie Savage and Adam Liptak of The New York Times, Lawrence Hurley and Andrew Chung of Reuters, Laura Litvan and Greg Stohr of Bloomberg, Ed O’Keefe, Robert Barnes and Sean Sullivan of The Washington Post, Erica Werner and Mark Sherman of the Associated Press and David Savage of the Los Angeles Times. Early commentary comes from Noah Feldman of Bloomberg View.

Tomorrow, questioning by senators will begin. Ilya Shapiro for The Federalist and Steven Mazie for The Economist’s Democracy in America blog suggest questions they believe senators should ask the nominee. For Cato at Liberty, Shapiro also lays out what to look for during the hearing.

Other coverage of Gorsuch’s nomination comes from Arnie Seipel and Nina Totenberg of NPR and from Bill Mears of Fox News, who reviews Neil Gorsuch’s judicial record, his extensive preparation, and pre-hearing attempts by Democrats to oppose the nomination.

Additional commentary on Gorsuch’s nomination comes from Elizabeth Wydra for The Hill, David Gans for the Waco Tribune-Herald (also New Republic), and Akhil Reed Amar for The New York Times, Mark Gitenstein for The Washington Post, Kenneth Jost for his eponymous blog, Leah Litman at Take Care, who also writes a second piece with Amir Ali for Take Care, Ryan Black and Ryan Owens for The Washington Post, David Brock from Politico Magazine, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for the Boston Globe, Lee Saunders for The Hill, Raul Reyes for NBC News, Judith Schaeffer for The Huffington Post, Joan McCarter for Daily Kos, Rebecca Leber for Mother Jones and Dahlia Lithwick for Slate.

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Worthy of the “Gold Standard”

Worthy of the “Gold Standard”This week the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will begin confirmation hearings to consider the nomination of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to serve as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Since President Donald Trump announced his nomination to fill the vacancy created by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a full court press has been […]

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Worthy of the “Gold Standard”

This week the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will begin confirmation hearings to consider the nomination of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to serve as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Since President Donald Trump announced his nomination to fill the vacancy created by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a full court press has been unleashed to examine Judge Gorsuch’s character and credentials, as well as the judicial record he has amassed over the past ten years.

What’s most remarkable about the deep dive is the fact that Judge Gorsuch is indisputably qualified to serve on the nation’s highest court in the land. Last week the American Bar Association delivered a unanimous “Well Qualified” rating for his nomination, its highest possible assessment. The ABA’s exhaustive review evaluates a nominee’s integrity, professional competence and judicial demeanor. Senators Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) previously have referred to the ABA’s stamp of approval as the “gold standard.”

Judge Gorsuch is the gold standard. He is a man of sterling character who possesses an impressive command of the law. Since his unanimous approval to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit a decade ago, Judge Gorsuch has served with honor and distinction. His opinions reflect integrity and intellect mixed with ironclad impartiality and fidelity to the Constitution. His judicial philosophy is driven by the fundamental principles that the law applies equally to all, and that judges decide cases, not policy.

It’s a judicial philosophy that recognizes the genius of our 240-year-old Constitution: a government of limited and divided powers, carefully balanced, with an eye to the preservation of individual liberty. The federal judiciary serves as the final arbiter to uphold individual rights and referee the separation of powers, providing ordinary citizens access to an unbiased court of law to right wrongs and redress their grievances with impartiality and fairness.

With a decade of experience on the 10th Circuit, Judge Gorsuch’s record reflects an unwavering commitment to the rule of law. His rulings demonstrate a core commitment to deliver justice without bias or political favoritism. Judge Gorsuch does not consider the federal bench a political platform. Proper stewardship of the federal judiciary avoids judicial activism, embraces neutrality and works to ensure that the President, Congress and yes, judges, act within their constitutional boundaries in service to the American people.

He understands that judicial restraint preserves liberty by permitting the people to govern themselves, through their representatives. He also recognizes that the judiciary is a check on the executive branch, including the modern regulatory scheme.

Next week’s hearings mark the 14th Supreme Court confirmation hearing I’ve participated in. It will be my first time leading the hearing as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. And, as I’ve conducted nomination hearings for Attorneys General Jeff Sessions and Loretta Lynch, it will be fair and thorough.

I expect political posturing and grandstanding to be on full display. I also anticipate exhaustive attempts to require Judge Gorsuch to telegraph his personal views and forecast how he’ll rule on the hot button issues that may come before him.

But let’s not forget the standard set by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her confirmation hearings: It would be inappropriate for a Supreme Court nominee to offer hints or make commitments on matters that may come before the court.

By the end of the hearing, the American people will have seen and heard detailed responses about Judge Gorsuch’s judicial philosophy and his approach to the law and the Constitution.

And, by the time this week’s proceedings are completed, I expect that Judge Gorsuch will be well on his way to becoming our next Supreme Court justice.

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The blog’s coverage of Judge Gorsuch’s nomination

The blog’s coverage of Judge Gorsuch’s nominationAt 11:00 a.m. EDT on Monday, March 20, the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin its hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. SCOTUSblog will live-blog the entire hearing. Below the jump is an overview of the blog’s coverage of the nomination up to this point. Before the official nomination, as […]

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The blog’s coverage of Judge Gorsuch’s nomination

At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Monday, March 20, the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin its hearing on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. SCOTUSblog will live-blog the entire hearing. Below the jump is an overview of the blog’s coverage of the nomination up to this point.

Before the official nomination, as reports suggested that Gorsuch was a leading contender, Eric Citron analyzed the judge’s key decisions on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit and I provided a biographical sketch.

On the night of the nomination, a team of staffers live-blogged, Amy Howe reported on the announcement, Mark Walsh provided a “view” from the East Room, and Molly Runkle rounded-up early coverage and commentary. That night and over the course of the week, the blog also gathered and posted reactions to the nomination from politicians and interest groups, Gorsuch’s extra-judicial writings and speeches and his decisions on the 10th Circuit.

Michael Gerhardt, a law professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the former special counsel to Sen. Patrick Leahy and the Senate Judiciary Committee for the nominations of Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, outlined the confirmation process and explained what procedural opportunities Democratic senators may have to delay or prevent confirmation. Molly and I reported on early statements and actions from key Senate leaders, administration players and outside groups.

At his request, the blog published an op-ed from Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Amy reported on Gorsuch’s Senate questionnaire. Stephen Wermiel wrote an explainer for his regular feature, “SCOTUS for law students,” on attempts to predict how a nominee might vote on particular issues and cases in the future. Mark reviewed cert memos – memoranda written by law clerks recommending a grant or denial in petitions for a writ of certiorari – from Gorsuch’s time as a law clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy and retired Justice Byron White.

The blog, along with lawyers from the law firm of Goldstein & Russell, P.C., produced a series of posts examining Gorsuch’s views on a variety of topics to provide a sense of how Gorsuch might change the court, if at all. Amy introduced the series. Edith Roberts analyzed Gorsuch’s jurisprudence on arbitration, Tejinder Singh on the First Amendment, Kevin Russell on civil rights and separation of powers and federalism, Eric on administrative law, and Amy on class actions, abortion, religion and reproductive rights, euthanasia and assisted suicide, and the Fourth Amendment. I also posted a collection of links to helpful outside coverage and commentary.

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