US Senate begins hearing for Supreme Court nominee
March 22, 2017
The US Senate has opened hearings for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee.
The confirmation process for Neil Gorsuch, a conservative federal appeals court judge, began at the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday.
A seat on the 9-justice Supreme Court has been vacant since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February last year. The court's current 8 justices are regarded as balanced ideologically between liberals and conservatives.
Trump nominated Gorsuch soon after he took office in a bid to restore the court's narrow 5-4 conservative majority.
On the first day of the hearing, no strong opposition against Gorsuch came out.
But Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein criticized Senate Republicans for refusing a hearing last year for a nominee picked by Barack Obama.
Gorsuch said that while he is aware of his own imperfections, he pledges that if confirmed, he will do all he can to be a faithful servant of US constitutional laws.
The Senate is expected to vote on the nomination early next month.
The confirmation of Neil Gorsuch is a focus of attention at a time when some federal district courts have suspended Trump's executive order on travel. If approved, Gorsuch could sway a possible Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of that order.
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