Gorsuch confirmation hearings underway

In addition to the excitement surrounding PLF’s Supreme Court oral argument today in Murr v. Wisconsin, today is also the day the Senate Judiciary Committee begins its hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

The Senate Committee hearing will be a multi-day affair, lasting from today through at least Wednesday.

Reminding us all that political events have, as their chief purpose, drawing attention to politicians rather than the real subject matter, today’s portion of the hearing will be almost entirely consumed with Senators on the Committee making statements, before Judge Gorsuch is introduced and makes his opening statement. Today will conclude with Judge Gorsuch’s statement, and then Committee members will put their questions to the nominee starting tomorrow. Each Senator on the Committee will have two opportunities to ask questions. It is presently expected that questions will begin and conclude tomorrow, but it is possible that they will continue into Wednesday.

Following questions to the Judge, several panels of witnesses will present comments to the Committee, offering their view of Judge Gorsuch. This should take the balance of the day on Wednesday, after which we expect the actual hearing to conclude.

Once the hearing concludes, the Committee members will have a week or two to consider the nomination before voting. Chairman Charles Grassley (R – Iowa) anticipates that the Committee will vote on whether to move Judge Gorsuch’s nomination to the Floor on April 3 if not sooner. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced his expectation that the full Senate will vote on Judge Gorsuch’s nomination by the end of that week, on April 7 at the latest.

We will be monitoring and reporting on the confirmation process as it proceeds. You can listen to our podcast on the Gorsuch nomination below, and read my op ed in the San Francisco Daily Journal on the topic here as well.