Gorsuch, 49, who serves on the
Since Scalia's death, the court has split 4 to 4 on a handful of cases. Gorsuch's confirmation would generally restore the court's 5-4 conservative tilt, although Justice
"These days we sometimes hear judges cynically described as politicians in robes, seeking to enforce their own politics rather than striving to apply the law impartially. If I thought that were true I'd hang up the robe. But I just don't think that's what a life in the law is about," Gorsuch said.
Gorsuch delivered a very personal opening statement, speaking of his Western upbringing and his parents and grandparents, and choking up as he hugged his wife, Louise, of 20 years, and talked about their two daughters.
Gorsuch spoke to the
"The nominee before us today is not
"So I hope this nomination hearing focuses on the one person before us," Tillis said.
Addressing Gorsuch, Sen.
"I want to hear from you why
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, Committee Chairman Sen.
"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," the
"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