Gorsuch: I 'Would Have Walked Out Door' if Trump Asked This
Supreme Court nominee is sitting down for a day-long hearing
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2017 1:23 PM CDT
Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – President Trump's Supreme Court nominee sat down with the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday for what is expected to be 10 hours of testimony. Here's what Neil Gorsuch had to say on a wide range of topics during the early portion of the hearing:

  • When asked if he would be able to act independently as Supreme Court justice and rule against Trump, Gorsuch said he would "have no difficulty ruling for or against any party," calling it a "softball" question, Politico reports.
  • The New York Times has seven key takeaways from the hearing thus far, including that Gorsuch praised Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, but wouldn't give his opinion on how that played out, saying he "can't get involved in politics."
  • Gorsuch also wouldn't give his opinion on Trump's travel ban, as it's an "issue that is currently being litigated," the Washington Post reports. Gorsuch did fight back after a Democratic senator said he would uphold the ban: "He has no idea how I'd rule in that case."
  • Fox News reports Gorsuch called Roe v. Wade "precedent" that has been "reaffirmed" multiple times. He wouldn't go so far as to say it can't be overturned.
  • Because Trump has promised to appoint a Supreme Court justice who would be anti-abortion rights, CNN reports Gorsuch was asked if Trump had asked him to overturn Roe v. Wade. In response, Gorsuch said he "would have walked out the door" if that had happened. "That's not what judges do," he said.
  • Finally, Sen. Chuck Schumer said it's "unseemly" that the hearing is taking place at all while the Trump administration is being investigated by the FBI, the Washington Post reports.

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