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Gorsuch Stresses Independence from Trump in Senate Confirmation Hearings, Says 'No Man Is Above the Law'

What’s happening on day two of Neil Gorsuch’s SCOTUS confirmation hearings.

C-SPANC-SPANYesterday's opening session of the Neil Gorsuch Supreme Court confirming hearings was defined chiefly by the fact that nothing substantive actually happened. The 11 Republicans and nine Democrats of the Senate Judiciary Committee delivered one long-winded opening statement after another, employing mostly hollow slogans and partisan talking points to mind-numbing effect.

The real action began this morning when Gorsuch and his Senate interrogators finally came to grips. Early questioning centered on a few primary lines of inquiry.

"How do we have confidence in you that you won't be just for the big corporations? That you will be for the little men?" asked Sen. Diane Feinstein, who was up first for the Democrats.

Gorsuch replied by pointing to numerous cases in which his opinions sided with "the least among us," such as ruling in favor of an undocumented immigrant over the Board of Immigration Appeals in a major statutory interpretation case and in favor of multiple criminal suspects in Fourth Amendment cases.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, meanwhile, repeatedly pressed Gorsuch to prove his independence from President Donald Trump and asked Gorsuch to share his legal views on the constitutionality of Trump's recent executive orders banning travelers from certain Muslim-majority countries.

Predictably, Gorsuch refused to weigh in on those ongoing legal disputes.

What about "the president's national security determinations," Leahy pressed on. "Are those reviewable by the Court?" The Trump administration, Leahy pointed out, has "asserted that their national security determinations are un-reviewable by the Court."

"Senator, no man is above the law," Gorsuch replied.

A few minutes later, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham circled back to the issue of Gorsuch's judicial independence from the president who nominated him.

"Do you agree with me that the detainee treatment act prevents waterboarding?" Graham asked, alluding to President Trump's numerous comments in favor of waterboarding.

"Yes, Senator, that's my recollection of it," Gorsuch replied.

"In case President Trump is watching," Graham said with a smile, "if you start waterboarding people you may get impeached, is that a fair summary?"

Gorsuch demurred on that, saying only that the impeachment power belonged to the Senate and that he refused to speculate about any possible future prosecutions of Trump or anybody else.

"But no man is above the law," Graham stressed.

"No man is above the law," Gorsuch immediately agreed. "No man."

If President Trump is watching, I doubt he will like the sound of that.

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  • Libertymike||

    Indeed.

  • american socialist||

    Yea on chrome sometimes my comments dont take and just go blank. Does this happen to you?

  • Rhywun||

    It's been broken for about 10 years now.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, it happens pretty regularly. It's amazing they haven't been able to fix it permanently in all this time.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    It's not just my comments that don't take and just go blank.

  • Rhywun||

    "How do we have confidence in you that you won't be just for the big corporations? That you will be for the little men?" asked Sen. Diane Feinstein, who was up first for the Democrats.

    It takes a man with supreme self-control not to just laugh in her face at such dishonesty and hypocrisy.

  • plusafdotcom||

    ^ That... Yep, and I admired his self-restraint in the face of self-serving speeches by (usually Democrats) that never quite delivered an answerable question before they had to yield their time to someone with a brain.

  • Zeb||

    impeachment power belonged to the Senate

    I thought that was the House. House impeaches, then the Senate has a trial to remove from office.

  • Bubba Jones||

    And SCOTUS has no role whatsoever.

    It's a political process, not a legal one.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    "How do we have confidence in you that you won't be just for the big corporations? That you will be for the little men?" asked Sen. Diane Feinstein, who was up first for the Democrats.

    It's good to see Feinstein taking a shot at the horrible Kelo decision.

  • WakaWaka||

    "If President Trump is watching, I doubt he will like the sound of that."

    He says this based upon feelz.

    Trump is such a dictator that people who support him face ostracism and people who criticize him a totes cool. Just like Nazi Germany

  • chemjeff||

    "Trump is such a dictator that people who support him face ostracism and people who criticize him a totes cool. Just like Nazi Germany"

    Depends on where you happen to be, I suppose. In Manhattan, sure. In Bumfuck, Mississippi - less so.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    "No man is above the law," Gorsuch immediately agreed. "No man."

    Well, this exchange certainly explains Hillary not being in an orange jumpsuit and wearing leg irons.

  • BYODB||

    And what, then Hillary cuts off the Ring Wraiths hand or something? ^_^

  • Mickey Rat||

    Feinstein gets her premises wrong. A judge is not supposed to stand for the big man or the little man. A judge is supposed to stand for the law, the personal circumstances of people before them are irrelevant.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Yeah, but that doesn't win elections.

  • plusafdotcom||

    Or play to the members of her Cult, either.

  • Jerryskids||

    I've only caught a couple of snippets of the hearings - I thought it was mostly about Gorsuch being in favor of letting truck drivers freeze to death.

  • Sevo||

    Gorsuch [...] Says 'No Man Is Above the Law'

    Except that hag Clinton.

  • Crusty Juggler - #2||

    "Senator, no man is above the law," Gorsuch replied.

    Wrong - Big Ern McCrackin is above the law.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Senator "Turn 'Em All In" Feinstein also went on about how G.'s originalist view of constitutional interpretation is sexist, racist, and homophobic.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    They thrive on that crap, and put it on everything, like ketchup [to paraphrase Mr. Sowell].

  • Not a True MJG||

    "In case President Trump is watching," Graham said with a smile, "if you start waterboarding people you may get impeached, is that a fair summary?"

    It wouldn't surprise me if Graham was not aware that the SC is not part of the impeachment process.

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