Today, Gorsuch seemed very at ease and remarkably well-composed. He was particularly concerned about the specificity of questions and wasn’t timid about requiring clarification on what was being asked of him. If he had any confusion he made no mistake in asking the questions that needed to be asked so that he could answer to the best of his ability.
Gorsuch completely avoided answering questions in reference to his direct feelings about President Trump’s “So-called judge” comment several weeks ago. Gorsuch, however, simply explained that he was not in the business of politics. Every other question that he avoided was done so properly, in accordance with his responsibilities as they pertain to his current and previous positions as a judge and attorney. His answers today were remarkably consistent with the laws and his intention to be as impartial as possible when applying those laws. He faithfully acknowledged his previous regret in having to come decisions that were at odds with his personal opinions and feelings.
Democrats consistently attempted to trip him up through questioning about previous cases in which his rulings were in favor of corporate interests in an attempt to push him into a corner concerning his personal beliefs. Gorsuch repeatedly refused to give his own personal beliefs, citing the appropriate irrelevance of his own beliefs in the application of legislation. While the Republicans seemed to be less contentious in their questioning, the Democrats were far more concerned with finding his personal beliefs in reference to family and reproductive rights.
Of particular note was the line of questioning of Ms. Hirono, Senator (D–HI) tried, which only worked to re-enforce and solidify Gorsuch’s resolve in his position. He was questioned several times today concerning religious freedoms, protection of minorities, workers rights, torture, reproductive rights and corporate interest vs personal rights.
Most of the questions or statements from Republicans did little to question Gorsuch’s personal opinions, but fell more in line with trying to scold Democrats for their worries about the potential manner in which Gorsuch would vote. Republicans ended up showing mostly a vote of confidence for Gorsuch, and were nearly absent of any questions of substance for the nominee. In fact, much of the time today held by Republicans was not used for questioning at all, but more to give speeches of approval of Gorsuch’s record as a federal appellate judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Republican’s also spent a goodly amount of their time jovial talking to Gorsuch about his fishing hobby.
Throughout the process today, Gorsuch showed a consistently cheerful demeanor and expressed his full intention of upholding the judicial branch’s responsibility to uphold and apply the laws passed by the legislative branch.ƒ