Judge Gorsuch and the corpse flower

And while Republicans used their opening statements to highlight Gorsuch's academic and legal resume, Democrats also used their time to paint Gorsuch as a proxy for big business. She recalled that "Judge Gorsuch continued to steer the conversation back to the problems women pose for companies and the protections that companies need from women". After attending Harvard Law School as a Truman Scholar, he developed extensive trial and appellate litigation experience over the next two decades as Principle Deputy Associate Attorney General at the Department of Justice, partner at a private law firm, and clerk for two justices of the Supreme Court.

"Oh, what a difference an election makes", Hatch said. Outside witnesses will testify later in the week.

The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room was packed, contrasting with Gorsuch's 2006 confirmation hearing for the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals when a single senator, Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, attended. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. That will change this week as the hearings give Democratic senators a chance to press Gorsuch on issues like judicial independence, given Trump's attacks on the judiciary, as well as what they view as Gorsuch's own history of siding with corporations in his 10 years on the bench.

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., focused his opening statement on the plain black robes that judges wear, casting them as symbols of judicial neutrality. They describe Gorsuch as thoughtful, considerate and fair-minded.

The nomination of Judge Gorsuch has been a genuinely collaborative and transparent process.

"Gorsuch's nomination represents an imminent threat to America's most cherished rights and most vulnerable citizens, and millions of Americans across the country are demanding that Democratic leadership use everything in their power to block it", the alliance said.

The nominee himself delivered a 15-minute statement that included much about his personal background and family, including a grandmother he said "grew up on a Nebraska farm where an icebox wasn't something you plugged into the wall - it was something you lowered into the ground".

Some Democrats may vote to end a filibuster but also vote against Gorsuch. "I have ruled for disabled students, prisoners and workers alleging civil rights violations. Sometimes too I have ruled against such persons", he said.

Democrats repeatedly used their time Monday to contrast Gorsuch's consideration with GOP refusal past year to take up Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's pick for the seat vacated by the death of Antonin Scalia.

Lindsey Graham dares Democrats to explain why Neil Gorsuch is 'not qualified'
Republicans are in lockstep with Gorsuch, believing he will restore the Supreme Court's conservative tilt. Monday's hearing was devoted to opening statements from the 20 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"It was nearly a year ago today that Obama nominated Chief Judge Merrick Garland to this seat", said California Sen.

Democrats, while they strongly differ ideologically with Gorsuch, have largely based opposition to President Trump's nominee on the fact that Republicans refused to hold a vote on President Obama's pick, Judge Merrick Garland, when he was nominated for the same seat a year ago. And they cast his jurisprudence as elevating corporate interests over individual rights.

There were spots of levity in the day.

"It would be shocking if Neil Gorsuch wasn't confirmed to the Supreme Court in the coming weeks", Tom Goldstein, a lawyer in Washington, D.C., who argues before the court and publishes the ScotusBlog website, said. "The seriousness with which the judge asked us to consider these realities reflected his desire to make us aware of them, not any animus against a career or group".

The senators to watch include Democratic Sen.

"The nominee before us is not President Trump". "I firmly believe the American Constitution is a living document, meant to evolve as our country evolves". "Obviously, I didn't believe that, saying all the things I said".

Amid laughter from the audience, Graham added "Followed closely by Ben" with a gesture toward Sasse, who also was highly critical of Trump during the campaign.

Sen. Grassley: "I think they want to remind the fact that past year Republicans did not hold a hearing".

Grassley noted that others have disputed those claims.

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