- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 16, 2017

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will face senators for his confirmation hearing on March 21, the Judiciary Committee announced Thursday, giving lawmakers a chance to question him ahead of their planned Easter vacation.

Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley said the full hearings could last up to four days, with opening statements on March 20 and Judge Gorsuch himself testifying a day later. The final days are reserved for supporters and opponents to debate his record and credentials.

The timeline for Judge Gorsuch’s hearing follows a similar schedule as those for President Obama’s Supreme Court nominees Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, Mr. Grassley said.

The hearing will take place 48 days after President Trump nominated Judge Gorsuch to the high court.

“Judge Gorsuch has met every demand placed on him by the minority,” Mr. Grassley said. “He’s a mainstream judge. He’s displayed independence. He’s met with dozens of senators who have nothing but positive things to say. He is well-qualified and respected. He worked diligently to return the bipartisan questionnaire. It’s time for him to have the opportunity to speak for himself before the Judiciary Committee.”

Democrats have suggested they’ll filibuster Mr. Trump’s pick, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed that Judge Gorsuch will be confirmed one way or another.

A recent Fox News poll suggests the public would like to see the judge confirmed, with 49 percent in favor of him and 37 percent opposed.

That puts him 10 points higher than Justice Kagan’s support in 2010, but 4 points lower than Justice Sotomayor’s in 2009.

The poll surveyed 1,013 registered voters Feb. 11 to 13 and has a plus or minus three point margin of error.

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