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Franken presses Gorsuch on Garland snub, same-sex marriage
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn). (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

When pressed again about the last person nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court, Gorsuch once again declined to speak about what happened to Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination.

Last year, then-President Barack Obama picked Garland to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat left open when Justice Antonin Scalia died. However, Senate Republicans refused to consider him, arguing it was an election year and voters should get to decide.

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) asked Gorsuch to weigh in on Garland and that decision.

“I think the world of Merrick Garland,” Gorsuch said. “I think he’s an outstanding judge.”

Despite being repeatedly prodded on the issue, Gorsuch said he would not answer whether he thought Garland was treated fairly, saying he believes that delves into the realm of “politics.”

Franken pointed out that Gorsuch has a history of working in politics, including time volunteering for President George W. Bush’s reelection campaign in 2004 and work after that for Bush’s Justice Department, but Gorsuch still declined to offer an answer.

During his assertive questioning, Franken also attempted to ask Gorsuch how he feels about topics including same-sex marriage and the way top Trump administration officials view him, only for Gorsuch to rebuff such questions.

At times, Gorsuch appeared to tense up or show some frustration with Franken’s questioning, as the Minnesota senator cut him off a few times to move on to another topic, noting he was dealing with time limits.

The discussion of same-sex marriage was particularly pointed. When asked how his views on marriage have changed over the years, Gorsuch said he would not answer because it “would send a misleading signal to the American people.”

Gorsuch was asked about same-sex marriage, which was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2015, and called it “absolutely settled law.” But Gorsuch said he would not speak more on it because there are other legal actions still unfolding that are related to the impact of that ruling.

“There’s ongoing litigation about its impact and its application right now,” Gorsuch said.

Neil Gorsuch confirmation hearings: Updates and analysis on the Supreme Court nominee
Gorsuch appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday. (Michael Reynolds/EPA)

Judge Neil Gorsuch, a federal appeals court judge from Colorado, is on Capitol Hill today for confirmations hearings for a seat on the Supreme Court. Gorsuch was nominated by President Trump to fill the seat left open by the death of Antonin Scalia and has broad support among Republicans.

It’s a chance for Senate Democrats to take a stand against the Trump administration, and express their anger that Republicans blocked a hearing for President Barack Obama’s selection for the seat, Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Monday is the beginning of four days of hearings. Follow along.

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