In 2006, Hon. Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing lasted less than thirty minutes. Gorsuch was unanimously approved at hearing which included the following Democrat Senators: Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Tom Carper (D-DE), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Bob Menendez).
With Trump selecting Gorsuch to fill the role as SCOTUS, things have changed. Senator Leahy was not present for the hearing, but prepared a statement which was introduced to the record. The statement by Leahy showed some concern that Gorsuch was too conservative, yet he did not feel the need to be present for the hearing.
The record shows that Gorsuch competently answered all questions submitted to him by Senators Leahy and Ronald Wyden. However, despite a previous unanimous vote, and obvious lack of concern, Leahy issued a statement on January 31, 2016 that tarnishes Gorsuch’s character. Sen. Ryden took to Twitter to state that “No senator who believes individual rights are reserved to the people, not the government, can support Gorsuch’s nomination.”
Chuck Schumer was also present at the 2006 hearing. He did not ask Gorsuch a single question at the brief hearing, yet took the time to make a lengthy statement in regard to the confirmation of Peter D. Keisler, who was nominated to be U.S. Circuit Court Judge for the DC Circuit.
Schumer also took Twitter and stated that “SCOTUS justice must stand up to a Pres willing to bend the Constitution. Serious doubts on Judge Gorsuch’s ability to meet this standard.” Not to be outdone, Sen. Reed also had a sudden concern for Gorsuch, which was absent in 2006. Likewise Maria Cantwell has also become an overnight critic of Gorsuch.
What these senators have failed to realize is that in today’s world, their prior actions are much easier to follow. The American public can easily look up their record and see the hypocrisy for themselves. Voters must ask themselves if these politicians are being genuine in their concerns or if this is just politics as usual.
A PDF of the hearing.
The text of the Congressional record.