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Trump promised judges who would overturn Roe v. Wade
President Trump (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

During his initial round of questioning, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), the Judiciary Committee chair, gave Gorsuch ample room to discuss judicial independence. Grassley and Gorsuch touched on “existing Supreme Court precedent,” as well as whether Gorsuch had to make any “promises or commitments” before his nomination. (Gorsuch said he was not asked for any such promises.)

A key reason for this: President Trump, who nominated Gorsuch to the court, had vowed during the campaign to nominate a judge who would help overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 abortion-rights decision. During the final presidential debate, Trump was asked if he wanted to see the Supreme Court overturn that decision.

“Well, if we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that’s really what’s going to be — that will happen,” Trump said during that October debate. “And that’ll happen automatically, in my opinion, because I am putting pro-life justices on the court. I will say this: It will go back to the states, and the states will then make a determination.”

Gorsuch said that he knew people had “their own views about lots of Supreme Court decisions” but that he would not make any promises about how to rule on a case.

Neil Gorsuch confirmation hearings: Updates and analysis on the Supreme Court nominee
epa05860192 Neil Gorsuch appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on his nomination to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, USA, 20 March 2017. Gorsuch, who was nominated by US President Donald J. Trump on 31 January 2017, begins his confirmation hearing 401 days after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Senate Republicans refused to vote or hold confirmation hearings on former President Barack Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, resulting in the longest opening on the court since the 1860s. EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS
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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