Process filled with tra­di­tion

The Denver Post - - NATION & WORLD - The As­so­ci­ated Press

wash­ing­ton» Thir­teen months af­ter the death of Jus­tice An­tonin Scalia, the Se­nate is fi­nally hold­ing con­fir­ma­tion hear­ings to fill the va­cancy, con­sid­er­ing Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s choice of Denver na­tive Neil Gor­such for the high court. The process is ar­du­ous, with dozens of one-on-one meet­ings with sen­a­tors in re­cent weeks giv­ing way to days of tes­ti­mony start­ing Mon­day. Gor­such and the Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee’s 20 mem­bers will give open­ing state­ments that day. Gor­such will an­swer ques­tions Tues­day and Wed­nes­day, and out­side wit­nesses will tes­tify Thurs­day.

• The Con­sti­tu­tion: It lays out the process in just a few words, say­ing the pres­i­dent shall nom­i­nate Supreme Court jus­tices “by and with the ad­vice and con­sent of the Se­nate.” Se­nate rules and tra­di­tion dic­tate the rest.

• Day one: On Mon­day, Gor­such will have to sit through 10minute state­ments from each of the 20 mem­bers of the com­mit­tee. Af­ter that, he will de­liver his own 10-minute open­ing state­ment.

• Ques­tions: In past hear­ings, the ques­tions have cen­tered around the nom­i­nee’s le­gal qual­i­fi­ca­tions, de­ci­sions as a judge, po­si­tions on po­lit­i­cal is­sues, in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the Con­sti­tu­tion, gen­eral le­gal phi­los­o­phy and cur­rent le­gal con­tro­ver­sies.

• Other wit­nesses: The fourth day of the hear­ings, Thurs­day, will fea­ture out­side wit­nesses, usu­ally for­mer col­leagues and advocacy groups who will tes­tify for or against Gor­such.

• The com­mit­tee vote: In­stead of ap­prov­ing or re­ject­ing the nom­i­nee, the com­mit­tee tra­di­tion­ally re­ports the nom­i­na­tion fa­vor­ably, un­fa­vor­ably or with­out rec­om­men­da­tion so the full Se­nate can have the ul­ti­mate say.

• The pro­ce­dural votes: Gor­such is ex­pected to have sup­port from more than half the Se­nate, but get­ting to that vote will re­quire pro­ce­dural ma­neu­vers. Some Democrats have said they will try to hold up the nom­i­na­tion, which means Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell, R-Ky., will have to hold a pro­ce­dural vote re­quir­ing 60 votes to move for­ward.

• The real vote: Once the Se­nate gets past pro­ce­dural votes, it can hold a sim­ple ma­jor­ity vote to con­firm. In re­cent years, sen­a­tors have sat at their desks dur­ing a Supreme Court vote and stood one by one to cast their votes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.