As Judge Neil Gorsuch begins his first hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democrats want to offer a stern reminder that then-President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee never got that far.
“We’re here today under very unusual circumstances,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, said in her opening remarks. She pointed out that Republicans did not allow Judge Merrick Garland to have hearings last year, during the presidential campaign.
“I am deeply disappointed that it is under these circumstances that we begin these hearings,” she said.
Senate Republican leaders did not allow hearings on Garland to proceed, arguing that the winner of the election should be the one to decide on a nominee to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat.
Feinstein also looked ahead to Gorsuch’s hearing. “Our job is to determine whether Judge Gorsuch is a reasonable mainstream conservative or is he not,” she said.