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It’s Gorsuch’s hearing, but Garland keeps coming up

A name coming up often early in today’s hearing: Judge Merrick Garland.

Garland was then-President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Republicans, who have controlled the Senate since 2015, did not move forward with his nomination — arguing that the winner of the presidential election should be the one who picks the nominee.

Senate Republicans “let the American people choose,” Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.), the second-ranking Republican in the chamber, argued in his remarks.

Cornyn’s comments served as defense against Democratic criticism. All three Democrats who have spoken so far have mentioned Garland.

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) insisted that blocking Garland last year was a decision “never grounded in principle or precedent.”

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.