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Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch is surrounded by photographers as he arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, March 20, 2017, for his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Gorsuch vowed to be an impartial justice and leave the politics to Congress


WATCH | Part 1 of the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

UPDATE 3:17 p.m. 

In his opening statements, Neil Gorsuch vowed to be an impartial justice should he be confirmed to the Supreme Court. 

Democrats on Monday repeatedly brought up some of Gorsuch's rulings on the appellate court in which he had ruled against individuals and in favor of big corporations. 

Gorsuch addressed those accusations in his remarks, saying his rulings "have never reflected a judgment about the people in front of me." 

Democrats have for the past week run vigorous media campaigns, highlighting some of his past rulings and painting Gorsuch as an extremist who would serve right-wing special interests and big money instead of "the little guy."

Gorsuch said that some of his rulings went against his personal beliefs.

"Sometimes the answers we reach aren’t the ones we personally prefer, sometimes the answers follow us home at night and keep us up but the answers we reach are always the ones the law requires," he said.

But he added that the majority of the time, his rulings fell in line with his colleagues. 

Gorsuch reinforced what Republicans on the committee stressed in their remarks on Monday, that it is up to Congress to change laws the people don't like, not the Supreme Court. 

"We sometimes hear judges cynically described as politicians in robes... If I thought that were true, I’d hang up the robe," Gorsuch said. 

UPDATE 3:09 p.m.

After thanking President Trump and Vice President Pence for his nomination, 49-year-old Gorsuch went on to talked about the three Supreme Court justices whom he's worked or interacted with in the past. Justice Anthony Kennedy and the late Justice Antonin Scalia were among those mentioned. 

“These judges taught me about the rule of law and the importance of an independent judiciary,” he said.

UPDATE 1:11 p.m. 

Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R-South Carolina) dismissed the idea that Republicans had conspired to nominate a Supreme Court justice with similar views to President Trump. 

"If you believe this has been a great plan to get a Trump nominee on the court, then you had to believe Trump was going to win to begin with,” Graham said.

“Obviously, I didn’t believe that saying all the things I said," Graham joked. 

Gorsuch vowed to be an impartial justice and leave the politics to Congress

UPDATE 11:45 a.m.

Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa in his opening statement stressed that as a Supreme Court Justice it is not Gorsuch's job to rule his conscience, but to follow the laws written by Congress. 

"Judges aren’t free to re-write statutes to get results they believe are more just," Grassley said. "Judges aren’t free to re-order regulations to make them more fair. And no, judges aren’t free to “update” the Constitution. That’s not their job."

Gorsuch vowed to be an impartial justice and leave the politics to Congress

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the committee's ranking member however said she firmly believes that the Constitution is a "living document" that is intended to evolve as the country evolves. 

She expressed concern over Gorsuch's past writings on abortion and President Trump's intention to nominate a justice who would "automatically" overturn Roe v. Wade. 

Gorsuch vowed to be an impartial justice and leave the politics to Congress
Gorsuch vowed to be an impartial justice and leave the politics to Congress

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) questioned Gorsuch's nomination, saying he was chosen by special interest groups rather than through a collaborative discussion between the President and the Senate. 

The first day of a grueling, four-day long confirmation hearing for Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court is underway.

President Trump nominated the Colorado judge to fill the seat left vacant by conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who died over a year ago. 

 This will be the first time most Americans have heard from Gorsuch since he received the nomination in January. He will deliver opening remarks after being introduced by Colorado Senators Cory Gardner (R) and Michael Bennet (D).

The greater part of Monday's hearing will be taken up by opening statements from the 11 Republicans and 9 Democrats on the committee. 

Starting on Tuesday, Gorsuch will face questioning from the committee members. 

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee will laud Gorsuch as a level-headed constitutionalist with widespread support while Democrats will go after Gorsuch for his past rulings in favor of big corporations.

Gorsuch vowed to be an impartial justice and leave the politics to Congress

WATCH | Democrats only recently united around a strategy to paint Gorsuch as pro-corporations and against the "little guy" but will it work? 

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