Senate confirmation hearing for Neil Gorsuch

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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.

The nominee will make an opening statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday to kick off hearings that could span four days. Gorsuch himself delivered a statement during the initial hearing. The seat has been empty since Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016. The issue has become even more important for Democrats in the wake of Trump's controversial travel ban and his full-throated criticisms of federal judges that they say show a lack of respect for the role of the judiciary.

Grassley continued by praising Gorsuch's record in that area, saying "his grasp on the separation of powers - including judicial independence - enlivens his body of work".

"I think you will see questions by senators about President Trump's attacks on judges, and how Judge Gorsuch feels about that".

Grassley drew criticism throughout a year ago for refusing to hold a Judiciary Committee hearing for President Obama's nominee to fill the vacancy created in February of 2016 when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died.

Democrats face an uphill battle to block Gorsuch, who like all Supreme Court justices would serve for life if confirmed.

And he's always been involved in Republican politics, as have other team officials (including team president Joe Ellis who is nephew of former President George H.W. Bush and thus the cousin of President George W. Bush).

"For those of us on this side, our job is not to theoretically evaluate this or that legal doctrine or to review Judge Gorsuch's record in a vacuum".

"Unfortunately, due to unprecedented treatment, Judge Garland was denied a hearing and this vacancy has been in place for well over a year", she said. Many liberal interest groups regard this nomination as a "stolen" Supreme Court seat. Some Democratic senators - such as Oregon's Jeff Merkley - have spoken out forcefully against him, but most have not. "I didn't believe it", said Sen.

Some Democrats have already been out front and vocal about their opposition to Gorsuch, including Sens.

Judge Gorsuch is widely recognized as a jurist possessed of deep intelligence and true fairmindedness.

The new push came as the Senate Judiciary Committee today also began their hearings to consider President Trump's pick to the nation's highest court. "And on money in politics - the scourge, the poison of our political system, undisclosed dark money - Judge Gorsuch seems to be. willing to restrict the most common-sense contribution limits".

Matt Sinovic is executive director of Progress Iowa; Chris Schwartz is director of Americans for Democratic Action Iowa; Sue Dinsdale is executive director of Iowa Citizen Action Network; and Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel is executive director of One Iowa. Grassley won reelection with 60 percent of the vote.