WASHINGTON —On the opening day of his confirmation hearings, Judge Neil Gorsuch promised that if he were elevated to the Supreme Court, he would strive for independence and integrity. Democrats said they were troubled by a judicial record they said was animated by a cold and literal reading of the law and skewed toward business interests. Democrats were always expected to highlight Republicans’ refusal to even meet with former President Barack Obama’s nominee last year. Meeting with Gorsuch and participating in the hearing, Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin said, represented “a courtesy which Senate Republicans denied to Judge Garland.” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, used his remarks to defend his party’s decision to hold open the vacancy caused by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, arguing that allowing Obama to fill the seat would have endangered Scalia’s legacy. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., issued a blistering attack on the U.S. Supreme Court led by Chief Justice John Roberts, listing more than a dozen decisions in which the court had voted 5 to 4 to limit voting rights, increase the role of money in politics and favor business interests. If Gorsuch fills the seat left vacant by Scalia’s death last year, he will return the court to a familiar dynamic, with a five-member majority of conservative justices, all appointed by Republican presidents, and a four-member bloc of liberal justices, all appointed by Democratic presidents.
Article by By Matt Flegenheimer, Carl Hulse, Charlie Savage and Adam Liptak (c) Page One News - Read full story here.