Pat Toomey do not serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is holding the hearing. Elizabeth Warren, have already said they intend to oppose his nomination, with the Cambridge Democrat publicly knocking him as a judge who's favored corporations over employees. Progressives want commitments now, even before hearings get fully underway.
"The nominee before us today is not President Trump", said Sen. The judiciary committee has 11 Republicans and nine Democrats, and the GOP has a 52-48 advantage in the Senate as a whole.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said, "If you believe this has been a great plan to get a Trump nominee on the court, then you had to believe that Trump was going to win to begin with".
Committee head Sen. Chuck Grassley predicted the first round of questioning will last for about 10 hours, and joked that he would appreciate it if he could be home for his preferred 9 p.m. bedtime.
Sisk, a registered Democrat living in Colorado, asked senators to consider the incident in class as part of their deliberations, as well.
To gain confirmation, once moving through the Judiciary Committee, Gorsuch will need 60 votes in the full Senate, a barrier that could be hard for him to overcome since Republicans only hold 52 seats and would need the support of at least eight Democrats.
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Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee which is conducting the nomination hearing. But as that vote - with the 60-vote threshold - is technically a procedural vote, some Democrats may be tempted to vote in favor of it as a compromise and not risk being labeled an obstructionist. It's unclear when the full Senate will vote on Gorsuch, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he was confident the vote would happen by April 7, when the Senate leaves for its Easter recess. Schumer said last week that he did not think Republicans wanted to go that route. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. The latter's death has left the nation's highest court with a vacancy for more than a year now.
Judge Neil Gorsuch, 49, was nominated by President Trump, 70, on January 31 to fill the remaining empty chair on the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Democrats portrayed Gorsuch as a coldhearted magistrate who interprets the law literally, while Republicans praised his legal preparation and expressed support for some of his rulings, including the one he issued in 2013 against former President Barack Obama's healthcare reform.
Gorsuch's hearing is expected to last until Thursday. Gorsuch in 2013 sided with Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., whose owners objected to providing the birth-control coverage required under Obamacare.
Where does Gorsuch stand on key issues like abortion, gay rights, and gun laws?