The Democrats' grogginess is a reflection, party strategists say, of their overextension, channeling energy and dollars toward a perhaps more winnable fight on defending Obamacare; of their depleted coffers following a costly 2016 presidential campaign; and of their poor political positioning, largely seeing Gorsuch as clean, qualified and tough to attack, at least before the hearings begin Monday.
"Neil Gorsuch may act like an neutral, calm judge, but his record and his career clearly show he harbors a right-wing, pro-corporate, special-interest agenda", Schumer said at a press conference Wednesday, alongside Sen. One year later, a different judge is facing a confirmation hearing.
He also claimed "a good number of our Republican colleagues" are against such a change.
This kind of talk from Supreme Court justices and appellate judges worries advocates for regulation of business practices across a wide swath of the American economy. He graduated with honors from Harvard Law School and obtained a Doctor of Philosophy in Law from Oxford University.
"They're asking things of Gorsuch that they didn't ask of Kagan", Grassley said, referring to Justice Elena Kagan's tenure as solicitor general in the Obama administration. It details Gorsuch's accomplishments and then flashes an image of McCaskill.
Trump has said he is confident Gorsuch, an appellate judge in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, will be confirmed.
Next week's hearing will not only focus on Gorsuch's legal credentials; it will also emphasize his impeccable character and his principled approach to judging. On Tuesday, Gorsuch will start answering questions. Instead of manipulating the law to achieve particular policies or outcomes he favors, he tries to harmonize the law with the understanding of those who originally wrote and passed it. After all, a real originalist would have to take unpopular positions, such as that the Constitution does not protect women from discrimination and that states can ban interracial marriage.
Gorsuch is expected to be voted out of the Judiciary Committee, which has a slim GOP majority.
Do not be deceived by progressives who say Gorsuch is outside the mainstream.
In a private meeting, Blumenthal said Gorsuch called the attacks "disheartening" and "demoralizing" and the senator urged him to repeat that publicly. "That's why we set out broad rules", Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of NY said in an interview.
Recognize, as well, that a fixation on results is not the proper inquiry for a Supreme Court confirmation hearing.
He criticized Gorsuch for not publicly denouncing Trump's attacks on the federal judiciary. But any honest observer will concede that these accusations are complete bunk.
"Even in the few cases cherry-picked by Senator Schumer, his accusations fall flat because they often include unanimous opinions joined by Clinton-appointed judges", she said. Alito pointed to "a massive shift of lawmaking from the elected representatives of the people to unelected bureaucrats" that is a product of the high court's willingness to give regulators wide latitude. "He enacted it time and time again on the 10th Circuit, and if given the chance I have no doubt he would do it again on the Supreme Court".
Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said if Republicans find themselves needing to call on that little-used procedure to approve Gorsuch, he shouldn't be nominated in the first place.