On Monday morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee begins four days of hearings on Judge Neil Gorsuch, nominated by President Trump to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat. Gorsuch is expected to make his first comments on Monday afternoon, after hours of opening statements from members of the Judiciary Committee. On Tuesday and Wednesday, each senator on the committee gets at least 50 minutes to question the conservative federal appellate judge from Colorado, and witnesses will speak for or against Gorsuch on Wednesday and Thursday. Republicans are united in their support for Gorsuch, while no Democrats have yet said they will vote for him.
Democrats are angry that Republicans blocked any consideration of Judge Merrick Garland, a similarly well-credentialed federal appellate judge nominated by former President Barack Obama, for almost a year. Democrats have enough votes to filibuster Gorsuch's nomination, probably, though Republicans have threatened to get rid of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees if they try. In the meantime, they have a list of questions for him and about him to try to figure out how he would rule on the high court. Gorsuch "is a bit of a puzzle," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). "We're going to try to put those pieces together so that the puzzle is complete and we have an understanding of what kind of a fifth vote will be going on the court." Peter Weber