Gorsuch Confirmation Hearing Begins With Feinstein Calling Him 'An Extremist'
Mar 21, 2017 09:21 AM EDT
President Trump's nominee for Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, began his confirmation hearing today at the Senate Judiciary Committee. California Senator Dianne Feinstein, the highest ranking Democrat who began the hearing, seems to be deeply dissatisfied with him and even called him an "extremist".
According to the New York Times, she was utterly disappointed by the fact that President Obama's nominee to the court, Merrick Garland, was not well received despite being regarded as a "mainstream moderate nominee" compared to Gorsuch. She noted that he could have at least received the courtesy to meet with Senate Republicans.
She further expressed her concern that Gorsuch is a strict originalist, and claimed he "ignores the intent of the framers" of the Constitution. Originalism rejects all judicial decision that is being made, not adhering to the original written Constitution.
"I firmly believe the Constitution is a living document that evolves as our country evolves," she said. She added that some justices had not treated it as such, and it would be the reason for segregated schools and unequal protections for women.
Senator Feinstein's office issued a statement before the hearing laying out what are likely to be her main points of interrogation for the hearing. According to San Francisco Chronicle, Feinstein stated that Gorsuch has constantly sided with employers and corporate interests, especially against reproductive rights for women, adding that his record on the latter even reflected him as a "pro-life extremist."
Meanwhile, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Feinstein's colleague opened the hearing by praising Gorsuch's "grasp on the separation of powers, including judicial independence". He also noted with some sarcasm towards Feinstein, saying, "Some of my [Democratic] colleagues seem to have rediscovered an appreciation for the need to confine each branch of government to its constitutional sphere."
Congressional Democrats have been getting a whole lot of pressure from the left, an apparent revenge for the Republicans' unprecedented obstruction of Garland's nomination last year. It remains to be seen in Gorsuch's nomination, especially since the table turned around since the election.