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Gorsuch Confirmation Hearing Scheduled To Begin March 20th

16.02.17 19:34

WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - A hearing on federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court is scheduled to begin on March 20th.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, announced the scheduled start of the hearing on Thursday and said the hearing is expected to last three to four days.

The hearing will begin with opening statements by Judiciary Committee members and Gorsuch on Monday, March 20th.

The questioning of Gorsuch will begin on Tuesday, March 21st, with testimony by outside legal experts as well as the American Bar Association expected to follow.

"Judge Gorsuch has met every demand placed on him by the Minority," Grassley said. "He's a mainstream judge. He's displayed independence."

"He's met with dozens of senators who have nothing but positive things to say. He is well-qualified and respected. He worked diligently to return the bipartisan questionnaire," he added. "It's time for him to have the opportunity to speak for himself before the Judiciary Committee."

A statement from Grassley noted Gorsuch's hearing will begin 48 days following the announcement of his nomination, similar to the timelines put together for Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Last week, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., accused Gorsuch of dodging questions on key legal and constitutional issues during his meeting with federal appeals court judge.

In a press conference following the approximately 45-minute meeting, Schumer told reporters Gorsuch "avoided answers like the plague."

"This President is testing fundamental underpinnings of our democracy and its institutions," Schumer said. "These times deserve answers and Judge Gorsuch did not provide them. I have serious, serious concerns about this nominee."

Schumer argued the bar for a Supreme Court nominee to prove they can be independent has never been higher, accusing President Donald Trump of showing deep contempt for an independent judiciary.

The Senate Democratic leader said he pressed Gorsuch on a number of issues, including Trump's immigration ban and claims of voter fraud as well as a clause in the Constitution prohibiting the president from receiving gifts from foreign leaders.

Schumer claimed he has not made up his mind on whether he will support Gorsuch but argued that Trump's Supreme Court nominee deserves intense scrutiny in light of the president's actions.

Trump's nomination of Gorsuch will need support from some Democrats to reach the 60-vote threshold to break a filibuster, although Republicans have suggested they may invoke the so-called "nuclear option" to require only a majority.

Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX



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