"The nominee before us today is not
"So I hope this nomination hearing focuses on the one person before us," Tillis said.
Addressing Gorsuch, who serves on the
"I want to hear from you why
Gorsuch spent much of the day listening in silence, sitting alone at the witness table as the 20 members of the
Gorsuch will get his turn to speak Monday afternoon, when he will deliver his own opening statement, and questioning will begin on Tuesday. Committee Chairman
It's all unfolding fully 13 months after Justice
Gorsuch, 49, is a respected, highly credentialed and conservative judge with a legal philosophy akin to Scalia's, who has spent 10 years on the federal bench.
Seeming to acknowledge that the outcome was not in question, Durbin remarked to Gorsuch: "You're going to have your hands full with this president. He's going to keep you busy."
In his opening statement, Grassley alluded caustically to
"In recent months I've heard that 'now more than ever' we need a justice who is independent, and who respects the separation of powers," Grassley said. "Some of my colleagues seem to have rediscovered an appreciation for the need to confine each branch of government to its proper sphere."
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."
"The president has gravely undermined it and that is why I believe you have a special responsibility here this week, which is to advocate and defend the independence of our judiciary against those kinds of attacks," said Sen.
Several of the more liberal