Published: Fri, February 17, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Gorsuch nomination hearings start on March 20

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch takes a seat before a meeting February 14 in Washington.

The Judiciary Committee hearings are expected to span several days and draw intense public scrutiny.

Gorsuch now serves as judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver, Colorado.

Questioning of Gorsuch will begin Tuesday, March 21, with testimony by outside legal experts and the American Bar Association to follow, according to a release by the influential Iowa senator.

"It's time for him to have the opportunity to speak for himself before the Judiciary Committee", said U.S. Sen.

But some Republicans are already predicting that Gorsuch will get confirmed.

"It is essential that the next Supreme Court justice be truly independent so the court can fulfill its vital institutional role in our system of checks and balances", he said.

Grassley said Gorsuch, a judge on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is "well qualified and respected" and has displayed independence.

Democratic leadership is demanding a 60-vote threshold for Gorsuch, which they have permission to do under Senate rules. If confirmed, Gorsuch would fill the seat left vacant by the death of conservative justice Antonin Scalia, who died a year ago in the middle of the presidential election campaign. That would mean he would have to earn eight votes in addition to the 52 Republican senators.

Fourteen Senate Democrats voted to break a filibuster of Justice Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court in 2006, but voted against his confirmation.

It's further than Judge Merrick Garland, former President Barack Obama's nominee, ever progressed.

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