Political Junkie: Neil Gorsuch, FBI Investigations and Wire-Tapping

Denver news in 5 minutes: What you need to know today, March 15

Democrats to Probe Gorsuch Views on Campaign Finance

A former student of Neil Gorsuch at the University of Colorado Law School has written to the Senate Judiciary Committee, describing a class lecture in which Gorsuch said that employers, and particularly law firms, should ask women job seekers their plans for having children in the future, suggesting that women are looking for jobs for the maternity benefits.

"No matter your politics, for all of these reasons you should be concerned about the preservation of our constitutional order and, most importantly, the separation of powers", Grassley said.

"If judges were just secret legislators, declaring not what the law is but what they would like it to be", he said, "the very idea of government by the people and for the people would be at risk". Judges are not free to reorder regulations to make them more fair. Judge Gorsuch has an impressive resume and impressive credentials to match. "That's not their job". Judicial independence is one of the ideals that "enlivens [Gorsuch's] body of work", Grassley said in his opening statement on Monday.

Ms Perry gave the example of President Lyndon B Johnson's nomination of Justice William Fortis to be promoted to the Chief Justice position was filibustered by both Republicans and Democrats at the time, but Mr Fortis was still given a proper hearing.

About a dozen people in the audience are wearing red "stop Gorsuch" shirts.

The 49 year-old Gorsuch is a federal judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The schedule of the first day will include 10-minute opening statements from members of the Judiciary Committee and Gorsuch's formal introduction by his two-home state senators: Democrat Michael Bennet and Republican Cory Gardner.

President Donald Trump - and particularly his attacks on the US judiciary - loomed large over the first day of his nominee's confirmation hearing.

The hearing which could go as long as four days, providing classic Washington political theater.

Democrats can be expected to put up a fierce fight. Though former President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, to replace Scalia, Republicans - who then and now hold a majority in Congress - refused to proceed with Garland's nomination. Many liberal interest groups regard this nomination as a "stolen" Supreme Court seat.

The ideological leaning of the court could be pivotal in determining the outcome of a wide array of matters including the death penalty, abortion, gun control, environmental regulations, voting rights, immigration, religious liberty, presidential powers and others.

But on Sunday, Cruz said, "Judge Gorsuch will be confirmed".

As for the frozen truck case, Gorsuch wrote a reasonable opinion that merely applied the law as it was, not as he might have wished it to be, said Leonard Leo, who is on leave as executive vice president of the Federalist Society to advise Trump on judicial nominations.

Durbin also told the judge, "You're going to have your hands full with this president", who has attacked individual judges who ruled against him.

Grassley was at the White House when Trump announced Gorsuch was his pick to fill the vacancy on the nation's highest court. However, it is not clear if they would do so, and Republicans could change Senate rules to require only a simple-majority vote for confirmation.

Democrats face an uphill battle to block Gorsuch.

With Republicans holding 52 seats in the 100-member chamber, Gorsuch will need to earn the support of at least eight Democrats to win confirmation.

"Remember, after I voted for Ms. Kagan, all the headlines were that 'this will ensure Graham is primaried, '" he said, talking about increased opposition at election time.

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