The Senate Judiciary Committee is set begin hearings on Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation to the Supreme Court Monday.
By and large, Democrats are expected to oppose Gorsuch’s confirmation. However, with Republicans controlling the majority of the Senate, Gorsuch’s confirmation appears inevitable. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has promised Gorsuch will be confirmed before Congress adjourns for the Easter recess.
Gorsuch, 49, is viewed as a constitutional conservative. He has a conservative record on religious freedom and business, and while he has never issued extensive rulings on abortion issues, Second Amendment rights, or national security, conservatives believe that Gorsuch shares their opinions on these matters.
On abortion Gorsuch has stated:
“The idea that all human beings are intrinsically valuable and the intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.”
On the Second Amendment, Gorsuch has cited the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, saying:
“[T]he Second Amendment protects an individual's right to own firearms and may not be infringed lightly.”
However, Gorsuch has also stated that he believes the government should set tougher standards when prosecuting the possession of firearms by felons.
Senate Democrats are expected to have many questions for Judge Gorsuch regarding the separation of powers and how he will be independent from President Donald Trump while serving on the high court.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said, “Judge Gorsuch may act like a neutral, calm judge but his record and his career clearly show he harbors a right-wing, pro-corporate special interest legal agenda.”
The confirmation hearings come after Congress' denial of a confirmation hearing President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, last year by denying him a confirmation hearing. Gorsuch’s confirmation would return the court to a 5-4 conservative majority.
Judge Gorsuch’s hearing is set to begin at Monday afternoon and is expected to continue for the next several days.