Judge Neil Gorsuch listens during the first day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill March 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Gorsuch was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy left on the court by the February 2016 death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.

Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, appeared for the first day of his Senate confirmation hearing Monday. Rejecting the notion that judges are “politicians in robes,” Judge Gorsuch, a George W. Bush appointee who sits on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, emphasized the importance of a neutral and independent judiciary. The judge’s comments followed four hours of speeches from senators and pointed references by Democrats to what they consider the unfair treatment of Obama nominee Judge Merrick Garland. We discuss Judge Gorsuch’s jurisprudence and the politics surrounding his confirmation.

Partisan Divide Evident as Judge Gorsuch Delivers Message of Unity at Confirmation Hearing 21 March,2017Michael Krasny

Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO, National Constitution Center

  • Brian Sal Corral

    When will our politicians grow up?Yes he said she said he hit me first. Get over it. If republican politicians could apologize to the specific democrats whose hurt feeling are stopping a yes vote this confirmation would be a.done deal.

    • pm05

      Not about “hurt feelings”
      The GOP does this crap all the time and the Democrats need to finally stand up to it and say no more.

      • Curious


  • pm05

    1) it is all political ! You really don’t think that Gorsuch’s name just “popped up”; and you certainly can’t say that his answers to questions in the confirmation wouldn’t be completely “political” – to keep everyone happy.
    2) Democratic Senators should all refuse to vote for him – this whole process is so tainted because of McConnell. They should all vote no and stand up to the GOP crap.

    • Curious


  • trite

    The nomination and confirmation of a Supreme Court judge is inherently political. The institution is used as a political tool all the time by both parties.

  • Curious

    Gorsuch will be a great and much needed addition to SCOTUS.

    • Ford

      True patriotism means protecting the nation’s environment and health.

  • jurgispilis

    About the Muslim ban, can not the President deny entry into the US by any person for any reason, much like the sign posted in any diner: “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone”?

  • Robert Thomas

    Considering President Trump’s apparent disdain for federal oversight of environmental protection, the experience of Judge Gorsuch’s close family with implementing Ronald “Trees Are The Culprits” Reagan’s failed and ultimately FELONIOUS efforts to decimate the EPA and cozy up to the petroleum industry; whoever it was who observed that while “History Doesn’t Repeat Itself but it Rhymes” was on to something. Will the Gorsuch family finally succeed where it initially failed in helping to prevent the EPA from limiting the amount of lead dumped into the biosphere?

    Just wondering.

    • Noelle

      I know! I’m old enough to remember the Reagan years and the actions of this administration remind me too much of the 1980s.

    • Ford

      So you’re saying Gorsuch’s family is like Intel and Fairchild, which polluted Silly Con valley’s aquifer with carcinogens?
      But you’re afraid to give a URL, why?

  • Kurt thialfad

    The first amend stated that Congress can not abridge the freedom of speech. It doesn’t mention persons or corporations. However, newspapers have always been protected by freedom of speech, and they are not persons, rather quite often corporations.

  • Die.Leit

    The Legislature has a tendency to lecture Judiciary candidates on opinions creating law (in addition to doing everything else except for the job of legislating). It would be nice if a Judicial candidate could, for example, respond: If you believe that should be the law, the safest way to ensure it continue to be the law is to pass legislation plainly expressing the statute desired. Neither the Executive nor the Judiciary is a legislative branch.


Michael Krasny

Michael Krasny, PhD, has been in broadcast journalism since 1983. He was with ABC in both radio and television and migrated to public broadcasting in 1993. He has been Professor of English at San Francisco State University and also taught at Stanford, the University of San Francisco and the University of California, as well as in the Fulbright International Institutes. A veteran interviewer for the nationally broadcast City Arts and Lectures, he is the author of a number of books, including “Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life” (Stanford University Press) “Spiritual Envy” (New World); “Sound Ideas” (with M.E. Sokolik/ McGraw-Hill); “Let There Be Laughter” (Harper-Collins) as well as the twenty-four lecture series in DVD, audio and book, “Short Story Masterpieces” (The Teaching Company). He has interviewed many of the world’s leading political, cultural, literary, science and technology figures, as well as major figures from the world of entertainment. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the S.Y. Agnon Medal for Intellectual Achievement; The Eugene Block Award for Human Rights Journalism; the James Madison Freedom of Information Award; the Excellence in Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; Career Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and an award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association. He holds a B.A. (cum laude) and M.A. from Ohio University and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin.

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