Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley announced Thursday that the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch will begin March 20.
Grassley's office indicated in a statement that the opening statements will take place on Monday, March 20, and Gorsuch will face the committee the following day. The hearings are expected to last three to four days and include testimony from outside experts.
“Judge Gorsuch has met every demand placed on him by the Minority,” Grassley said. “He’s a mainstream judge. He’s displayed independence.”
Gorsuch has distanced himself from comments made by President Donald Trump that included personal attacks on federal judges, calling the comments disheartening and demoralizing in private meetings with senators. Democrats have called on Gorsuch to make those comments publicly, and they are expected to push Gorusch on the issue of an independent judiciary at his confirmation hearing.
Both Grassley and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have said they hope to confirm Gorsuch in April.
Gorsuch will face a test on the Senate floor, where Democrats are expected to demand a 60-vote threshold to end debate on his nomination, a tactic rarely used on Supreme Court nominees. To meet that threshold, eight Democrats will have to join with the 52 Republicans to advance his nomination.
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