“I wish that I could say that this hearing has been illuminating for what was said by you,” Democratic Sen. Mazi Hirono told Gorsuch Tuesday after nearly 20 hours of testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Instead I’m left to judge your nomination largely on the basis of what you refuse to say.”
Democrats, so far divided on how intensely to oppose Gorsuch, failed to land a major blow to the nominee as he carefully skirts questions about Supreme Court precedent and Trump’s most controversial actions and statements. Gorsuch’s role in the hearings is now over as the high-profile panel prepares to hear from witnesses on Thursday.
“You have been very much able to avoid any specificity like no one I have ever seen before,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the highest-ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said. “And maybe that’s a virtue, I don’t know. But for us on this side, knowing where you stand on major questions of the day is really important to vote aye.”
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals judge repeatedly told members of the committee he leaves his personal opinions “at home,” and at one point called it “grossly improper” for him to speculate about how he would rule on Trump’s controversial travel restrictions from six-Muslim majority countries. The order has been blocked by a federal judge and could end up before the Supreme Court.