New England Senators Question Gorsuch

Mar 21, 2017

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding confirmation hearings this week for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

On Tuesday, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy pressed the Trump nominee on the president's attempts to ban residents of certain Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

"A Republican congressman recently said [that] the best thing the president can do for his Muslim ban is to make sure he has Gorsuch on the Supreme Court before appeals get to that point," Leahy said.

In response, Gorsuch said it's "silly" to think anyone would know how he'd vote on such a case.

"I'm not going to say anything here that would give anybody any idea how I'd rule in any case like that, that could come before the Supreme Court or my court of the 10th Circuit," Gorsuch said. "It would be grossly improper of a judge to do that."

Leahy, a Democrat, also expressed his frustration over a Republican blockade of former President Obama's Supreme Court pick Merrick Garland, calling the action "shameful."

Later in the day, Rhode Island Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse brought up campaign finance and disclosure laws. He asked Gorsuch if senators should be able to know who is funding a $10 million campaign supporting the nominee.

"Senator, that's a policy question for this body," Gorsuch said.

"It's also a question of disclosure," Whitehouse quickly replied. "You could ask right now -- as a matter of courtesy, as a matter of respect to the process -- that anybody [who] is funding this should declare themselves so that we can evaluate who is behind this effort."

When asked again about the money surrounding his nomination, Gorsuch said there is "a lot" he regrets about the confirmation process.