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U.S. Supreme Court nominee stakes out independence from Trump

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - 01:30

Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's U.S. Supreme Court pick, said on Tuesday he would not hesitate to rule against the president. He's vowing independence amid concerns by Democrats he would be beholden to the man who nominated him. Justin Mitchell reports.

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(SOUNDBITE) (English) NEIL GORSUCH, U.S. SUPREME COURT JUSTICE NOMINEE, SAYING: "I have no difficulty ruling against or for any party." Judge Neil Gorsuch staking out his independence from President Donald Trump Tuesday at Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings already marked by sharp partisan point-scoring. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENATOR CHUCK GRASSLEY, IOWA REPUBLICAN AND CHAIR OF COMMITTEE, SAYING: "Tell us whether you'd have any trouble ruling against a president who appointed you." GORSUCH: "I have offered no promises on how I'd rule in any case to anyone. And I don't think it's appropriate for a judge to do so, no matter who's doing the asking." But despite slim odds of blocking him, Senate Democrats quickly raising doubts about the conservative appeals judge's fitness for the high court... Ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein calling out Gorsuch over his work for the Justice Department under President George W. Bush, the senator suggesting he helped build a legal defense for water-boarding… Feinstein also looking for assurances Gorsuch wouldn't vote to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case legalizing abortion…. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN, CALIFORNIA DEMOCRAT AND RANKING MEMBER OF COMMITTEE, SAYING: "The President said he would appoint someone who would overturn Roe." Gorsuch would fill the seat left by the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia more than a year ago… Democrats taking the line in opening statements Monday that it rightly belongs to Judge Merrick Garland, who was denied a confirmation hearing by Republicans who control the Senate.

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U.S. Supreme Court nominee stakes out independence from Trump

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - 01:30