Monday brings the start of appellate judge Neil Gorsuch‘s Supreme Court confirmation hearing in Washington D.C. Plus, LawNewz Founder Dan Abrams will host an hour of live legal coverage. You can watch that discussion in the player when it gets underway at 10:00 EST.
During the campaign season, Donald Trump said he’d appoint conservative judges opposed to abortion. So it’s possible that the Senate Judiciary Committee will quiz Gorsuch on the controversial decision in Roe v. Wade.
The Colorado native has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit since 2006. He needs a simple majority to be confirmed, but that number could essentially jump higher if at least 40 people support a filibuster. Dems have already said that this is a possibility, and Republicans only command a narrow 52/48 majority in the Senate.
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Back in 2006, the Senate unanimously confirmed Gorsuch in a voice vote. No one voiced any objections, including the still-working Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), and Chuck Schumer (D-New York). Then again, Supreme Court nominations do get more scrutiny, and the current political climate is arguably more toxic than it was over a decade ago.
Gorsuch would fill the seat left vacant in the February 2016 passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland, the Chief Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That didn’t even get to a confirmation hearing because Senate Republicans lead by Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell refused to move forward.
[Featured image via ABC 15]