by Jack Long
Gorsuch ascended to the Capitol Monday morning, March 20 to face Democrat and Republican Senators in a very abnormal Judiciary confirmation hearing. Senators questioned Gorsuch on his Constitutional views—an atypical way of conducting this type of hearing. Typically, Supreme Court nominees are scrutinized on past rulings as well as enduring a deep probe into their qualifications.
Senate Democrats dragged Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland into their questioning of Gorsuch, showing a dissatisfaction with last year’s Republican blockade of Garland’s hearing. Gorsuch’s supporters on the Senate Judiciary Committee pointed out that only one case was overturned by the Supreme Court, out of the 2,700 cases Gorsuch has seen at his bench.
Before the hearings began, Democrats vowed to make Gorsuch’s confirmation difficult, stating that Gorsuch must demonstrate independence from the Trump administration.
For Gorsuch to be confirmed he needs a majority in the Senate—Republicans hold 52 seats. However, if Senate Democrats succeed in a filibuster, Gorsuch will need 60 seats to vote in favour of his nomination. The Republicans believe they have secured 9 Democratic seats in favor of Gorsuch meaning Gorsuch might be confirmed even if the filibuster occurs.