Live coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing

Live coverage: Day three of Supreme Court nominee hearing
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Senators are getting a second run at Neil Gorsuch, President TrumpDonald John TrumpCummings says Ivanka Trump not preserving all official communications Property is a fundamental right that is now being threatened 25 states could see severe flooding in coming weeks, scientists say MORE’s choice for the Supreme Court.

Gorsuch faced questioning Tuesday from each member of the Senate Judiciary Committee for 30 minutes. On Wednesday, the senators will each get 20 minutes for a second round of questions with the 10-year veteran of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Read a recap of Tuesday’s hearing here.

Third day of hearings comes to a close
7:53 p.m. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee wrapped on its third day of hearings on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. 

Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyDrug prices are a matter of life and death Senate panel to hear from pharmacy middlemen on drug prices Seniors win big with Trump rebate rule  MORE (R-Iowa) said the committee will reconvene at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday to hear testimony from outside witnesses.

He commended Gorsuch for demonstrating “a great deal of patience” throughout the process.

“You had to be disgusted some of the time, but you didn’t show it,” he said.

Grassley then criticized Democrats for pressing Gorsuch to say whether he agreed with certain landmark cases.

"It frustrated me they wouldn’t take really in a sense yes for an answer even if you didn’t answer in the three letter word," he said.

In an interview with reporters following the hearing, Grassley said it's going to be hard for Democrats to mount a filibuster to block Gorsuch from getting confirmed.  

Given that Republicans could go nuclear and change the rules to allow Gorsuch to win confirmation with a simple majority, Grassley said, "I think they want to save the 60 votes for the next vacancy on the Supreme Court." 
 
It's been a while since the Senate has confirmed a Supreme Court nominee by a wide margin, but Grassley said Gorsuch might be the guy to return Senate confirmations to 90-10 votes. 
 
"His performance today ought to get people to reconsider what ought to go into the approval or disapproval of a nominee to the Supreme Court," he said.  

Blumenthal asks if Gorsuch was coached by the Heritage Foundation 

7 p.m.  

Blumenthal pressed Gorsuch on who helped him prepared for this confirmation hearing.

After Gorsuch rattled off a number of names, including his wife, Lousie; former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteSchultz recruiting GOP insiders ahead of possible 2020 bid Bottom Line US, allies must stand in united opposition to Iran’s bad behavior MORE (R) and former law clerks, Blumenthal asked if he’d been coached by anyone from the Heritage Foundation.

"I don’t know who’s from Heritage. No one’s come up to me and said, ‘I’m from the Heritage Foundation and I’m here to help,’” Gorsuch said emphatically with a playful, growly voice, drawing laughter from the crowd.

The conservative political think-tank reportedly helped President Trump draft the list of potential Supreme Court nominees he released during his campaign for the White House.

Franken to Gorsuch: ‘I don’t blame you’

6:46 p.m.  

Franken told Gorsuch he doesn’t blame him for the GOP blockade of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.

“Yes, I was looking forward to his nomination moving forward, but I don’t blame you, Judge Gorsuch, for what happened to him,” he said. 

Franken said Democrats have been accused of asking unfair questions and turning Gorsuch’s confirmation process into a show because they’re bitter that Garland was blocked.

“Yes, I strongly believe what happened to Merrick Garland was unfair and disgraceful,” he said. “The argument [that] we should judge and are judging candidates based solely on their qualifications is betrayed by the fact that these are the same people who blocked Merrick Garland and Merrick Garland has every qualification.”

But Franken said it’s not about Garland either.

“If Justice Scalia had died one month ago, we’d be here today with President Trump’s nominee. We would be talking about the same things,” he said, adding, “I think I and all my colleagues have asked tough, but fair questions about your record.”

Gorsuch thanks the committee

6:20 p.m. 

After more than 20 hours in the hot seat over two days, Gorsuch took a moment before senators wrapped up their questioning to thank the Judiciary Committee. 

He said he’s spent the past two months in the Capitol and its office buildings, watching the members and their colleagues do what they do.

“I wish the American people could see what I see, that’s all,” he said. “I think if they had seen what I’ve seen, they would be much bigger believers in their government than they are.”

“It’s not perfect. My branch isn’t perfect, but I’m a believer in it.”

 

Whitehouse blames Citizens United for death of bipartisanship on climate change

5:55 p.m.

Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDems introduce bill requiring disclosure of guest logs from White House, Trump properties Sanders announces first staff hires in Iowa, New Hampshire McConnell works to freeze support for Dem campaign finance effort MORE (D-R.I.) urged Gorsuch to keep in mind his view that the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC killed bipartisan work to combat climate change.

Whitehouse noted there was a lot of activity in the Senate to curb carbon emissions ahead of the 2010 decision, which allowed non-profit groups to spend unlimited amounts on federal elections — dramatically increasing the influence of corporations and unions.

He noted that the 2008 GOP nominee for president, Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCrenshaw to Trump: 'Stop talking about McCain' Vietnam Veterans of America 'chagrined' Trump won't let McCain 'rest in peace' National Cathedral says Trump didn't need to give 'approval' for McCain funeral MORE (R-Ariz.), called for the United States to do its part to address global climate change.

“For the first three years that I was here -- 2007, 2008 and 2009 -- there was constant Republican activity on climate change in the Senate,” Whitehouse said, noting bills by GOP Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenate GOP poised to go 'nuclear' on Trump picks Overnight Health Care: CDC pushes for expanding HIV testing, treatment | Dem group launches ads attacking Trump on Medicare, Medicaid cuts | Hospitals, insurers spar over surprise bills | O'Rourke under pressure from left on Medicare for all Dem group launches ads attacking Trump's 'hypocrisy on Medicare and Medicaid cuts' MORE (Maine), Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderTrump signs executive order on campus free speech Senators ask CBO to review options for preventing surprise medical bills The next step for justice reform: Ending the ban on federal Pell Grants for eligible students behind bars MORE (Tenn.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump's intraparty feuds divide Republicans Trump's attacks on McCain exacerbate tensions with Senate GOP Republicans defend McCain amid Trump attacks MORE (S.C.) addressing the issue.

Since the Citizens United decision opened the floodgates for the fossil fuel industry to spend on federal races, Whitehouse said, “There has not been a single comprehensive piece of legislation with a Republican cosponsor related to carbon dioxide emissions.”

 

Gorsuch asked about criticisms of attorneys

5:43 p.m. 

The committee has reconvened for a third round of questioning.

Durbin asked if Gorsuch has ever represented an unpopular or notorious client. 

"I would think a lot of my clients would have been considered unpopular," Gorsuch said. "Notorious is in the eye of the beholder, but certainly people who are accused of crimes" might fit that bill.

Durbin brought up an email Gorsuch sent while at the Justice Department criticizing firms that were representing Guantanamo Bay detainees pro bono.

He quoted Chief Justice John Roberts and said the principle of not identifying a lawyer with the particular views of a client critical to the fair administration of justice. 

Gorsuch said he has nothing but admiration for attorneys who represent Guantanamo detainees. 

"That email you are referring to is not my finest moment,” he said, admitting he was “blowing off steam with a friend privately."

"I think my career is better than that."

Committee to meet with Gorsuch privately 

4:55 p.m. 

The committee has recessed to allow members to vote. When they return, Grassley said members will meet with Gorsuch in private for about 30 minutes and then start a third round of questioning.

The chairman said he hopes not everyone decides to ask questions in the third round and if they do, that they only use 15 minutes a piece. 

Dem: Elections impact the court because 'we have you and not Merrick Garland'

4:20 p.m.

Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoCitizens lose when partisans play politics with the federal judiciary Warren, Harris, Gillibrand back efforts to add justices to Supreme Court Liberal commentator: Trump's warning that supporters could play tough is a 'violent dog whistle' MORE (D-Hawaii) pushed Gorsuch to admit that the court’s decision in Citizens United to strike limits on campaign contributions and its decision in Shelby County to gut provisions of the Voting Rights Act have had an impact on elections.

Gorsuch said the cases are precedent of the high court, adding, "And obviously they have impacts on things."

“Would you acknowledge that the elections have an impact on the composition of the court?" the Democratic senator pressed.

“There aren’t Republican judges or Democrat judges,” Gorsuch said, repeating a line he has used throughout his hearings, arguing that fair judges are appointed by presidents from both parties.

“Obviously elections have an impact on the court because we have you and not Merrick Garland,” Hirono shot back, referring to former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaPence lobbies anti-Trump donors to support reelection: report The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump attacks on McCain rattle GOP senators Obama reveals his March Madness bracket MORE's Supreme Court nominee that Republicans refused to hold hearings on last year.

Blumenthal tries to nail Gorsuch on LGBTQ views 

4 p.m. 

Blumenthal asked if Gorsuch agrees with the holding in Lawrence v. Texas that struck down laws that made sex between gay couples illegal.

“That is what it declared,” Gorsuch said. “That is the precedent of the United States Supreme Court.”

“I’m going to give you the same answer every time,” he added, continuing his commitment to avoid making his personal stances on issues known. 

Blumenthal said his answer leaves doubt in a lot of minds. 

“Your declining to be more direct and give the same answer about these case as you did Brown [v. Board of Education] leaves doubt in the minds of millions of Americans that rely on privacy right," he said.

Gorsuch told Blumenthal earlier Wednesday that the court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education, desegregating schools, was a great decision.  

 

Trump's Supreme Court pick says 'bigly'

2:40 p.m.

Gorsuch accidentally used the word “bigly,” one of President Trump's signature words.

The judge was answering Sen. Ben Sasse's (R-Neb.) question about what role the Declaration of Independence plays in interpreting the Constitution when he slipped and uttered the word Trump repeatedly used on the campaign trail.

"No one remembers who John Hancock was, but they remember that was a signature because he wrote his name so bigly, big and bold," Gorsuch said.

"You just said 'bigly,'" Sasse pointed out, causing the room to erupt into laughter. "And I just won five bucks."

"You embarrassed me in front of my nephew and he loved it," Gorsuch said with a grin.

Sasse joked that the judge's nephew that was giving him the $5.

 

Gorsuch declines to comment on confirmation process

2:30 p.m. 

Sticking to his strategy of exercising extreme caution, Gorsuch declined to answer a friendly question from Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) seeking advice on what questions senators should be asking as they review nominees for the Supreme Court.

“What do you think are the hardest questions that should rightly be put to you and to future nominees for the court?” Sasse asked, noting that he’s a “newbie” in the Senate.

Gorsuch said answering that question might violation the separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches.

“I just don’t think it’s appropriate for an Article III judge to be trying to tell [this] body how to do its business,” he said. 

Gorsuch: Congress should act on arbitration law if it doesn’t like court rulings

2:10 p.m. 

Gorsuch says lawmakers should revisit the 1925 Arbitration Act if they don’t like how prevalent the use of forced arbitration has become in business and workplace disputes. 

"If I were a lawyer and worried about these things, I'd come to this body and ask you to revisit a nearly 100 year-old law and perhaps rethink the balance between arbitration and jury trials," he said when pressed by Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenGillibrand defends her call for Franken to resign Gillibrand: Aide who claimed sexual harassment was 'believed' Kirsten Gillibrand officially announces White House run MORE (D-Minn.) about his views on the issue. 

Forced arbitration clauses, often slipped into the fine print of contract, strip consumers of their right to settle disputes with a business in court or join a class action lawsuit. 

Franken pointed to consumers who were forced into arbitration with Wells Fargo after bank accounts were fraudulently opened on their behalf, and a soldier whose home had been foreclosed and sold out from under him while he was on active duty. 

"What does it take for the courts to decide that the outcome is so injust that it cannot be enforced?" he asked.

Gorsuch: ‘Not been my experience’ that judges apply personal moral views

1:41 p.m.

Gorsuch is insisting that judges don’t usually apply their personal views to decisions as Democrats press him for his personal views of the law.

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharHarris's stepkids call her 'Momala' Sanders joins striking workers at UCLA in first 2020 California visit Lawmakers urge tech to root out extremism after New Zealand MORE (D-Minn.) cited 7th Circuit Court Judge Richard Posner, who said such a view is naïve. 

“He said that it was naïve to think that judges believe only in the legal technicalities of their argument,” she said. “The truth is, he said, is that they consult their own moral convictions to produce the best results for society.”

Gorsuch disputed that claim.

“I can just say that’s not been my experience. I’ve been doing this a long time,” he replied. “You can call me naïve if you want.”

Gorsuch said Supreme Court justices are doing “their level best to apply the law based on facts and circumstances.”

Klobuchar said “it doesn’t feel that way” from recent Supreme Court decisions, citing the Supreme Court’s 2010 campaign finance case Citizens United v. FEC.

Klobuchar: We're judging you, not your colleagues 

1:35 p.m. 

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) compared the standard Gorsuch set for educational plans under the Individuals with Disabilities Act, which the Supreme Court overturned Wednesday, to a tank of gas.

Writing that plans must be “merely more than de minimis,” she said, is like saying a gas tank must merely be more than empty.

“It creates a ceiling to me, rather than a floor in its language,” she said.

Gorsuch defended his ruling, noting that the other two judges that heard the case joined him unanimously.

“They are not up for the job of the highest court in the land,” she responded.

Lee tries to defend Gorsuch 

1:25 p.m. 

Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeStop asking parents to sacrifice Social Security benefits for paid family leave The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over New Zealand coverage GOP moves to rein in president's emergency powers MORE (R-Utah) tried to back up Gorsuch and defend him from Democratic criticism that the nominee has shared little about his views on specific legal issues. 

Lee asked Gorsuch if litigants could file a motion for his recusal in a future case, were to make a commitment now on how he would rule on an issue. 

Gorsuch said that would be true.

He said he doesn't know how he would be able look them in the eye if he were to get confirmed to the Supreme Court. If he goes home to Colorado, he said he's "faced with the same predicament." 

Supreme Court overrules Gorsuch

12 p.m.

While Gorsuch was testifying Wednesday, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned a precedent he set for education plans under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA).

The justices that Gorsuch could join reversed a 10th Circuit Court ruling upholding a district court's decision not to force a Colorado school to reimburse the parents of an autistic child for a private school education. The parents claimed they were forced to pay because the school could not meet their child’s educational needs.

In reaching that decision, the 10th Circuit said it relied on the court's 2008 ruling in Thompson R2-J School District v. Luke P.

In that case, Gorsuch, who wrote the majority opinion, said IDEA does not require states to do whatever is necessary to ensure that all students achieve a particular standardized level of ability and knowledge. 

Instead, he said, it calls for the creation of an individualized plan that enables the student to make  some progress towards the program's goals.

He wrote that the court had concluded "that the educational benefit mandated by IDEA must merely be 'more than de minimis.' "

The Supreme Court said Wednesday that he was wrong. 

"This standard is more demanding than the 'merely more than de minimis' test applied by the Tenth Circuit," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the court's opinion. 

"It cannot be right that the IDEA generally contemplates grade-level advancement for children with disabilities who are fully integrated in the regular classroom, but is satisfied with barely more than de minimis progress for children who are not."

When Durbin questioned Gorsuch on the court's ruling Wednesday, the nominee said he had just been handed the decision on the way to the bathroom during the break. 

“Why in your earlier decision did you want to lower the bar so low?” Durbin asked.

Gorsuch: I accept Roe v. Wade as ‘the law of the land’

11:40 a.m.

Gorsuch told Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate Dems petition Saudi king to release dissidents, US citizen GOP moves to rein in president's emergency powers Senate votes to confirm Neomi Rao to appeals court MORE (D-Ill.) that he accepts the landmark Supreme Court case establishing a right to abortion “as the law of the land.”

Gorsuch has never ruled directly on abortion rights, but liberal groups assume he would be hostile to continued access to abortion rights because of a book he authored on euthanasia.

In “The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,” Gorsuch wrote, “The intentional taking of human life by private persons is always wrong.”

Durbin demanded he explain how he could square that statement with the legal right to an abortion.

“As the book explains, the Supreme Court of the United States has held in Roe v. Wade that a fetus is not a person for purposes of the 14th Amendment, and the book explains that,” Gorsuch answered.

“Do you accept that?” Durbin asked.

“I accept the law of the land, senator, yes,” Gorsuch replied.

Durbin to Gorsuch: You fended off most questions of substance

11:32 a.m.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says Gorsuch has revealed almost nothing of his views of the Constitution, a growing complaint among Democrats on Wednesday.

Durbin said Democrats “tried to peel back your professional and carefully guarded persona so we may understand whether there’s any chance there’s a beating heart, an independent streak in Donald Trump’s most important decision of his nascent presidency.”

Durbin says he wants to know what made Gorsuch so attractive to conservative groups such as the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation.

“You’ve fended off most questions of substance,” Durbin noted, explaining why Democrats have focused on the nominee’s written opinions, such as a dissent splitting with colleagues on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals over a truck driver who was fired for trying to escape life-threatening, sub-zero conditions. 

Gorsuch justifies concerns about Chevron Doctrine 

11:10 a.m. 

Gorsuch said he raised concerns about the Chevron Doctrine as a circuit court judge because he's worried about ordinary Americans. 

The legal principle tells courts to rely on agency interpretation of ambiguous laws.

In answering a question from Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchNY's political prosecution of Manafort should scare us all Congress must break its addiction to unjust tax extenders The FDA crackdown on dietary supplements is inadequate MORE (R-Utah), Gorsuch said he was concerned what impact it has if agencies can change the law back and forth every four years based on the outcome of an election. 

"I'm not worried about large corporations they have lobbyists and lawyers. ... I'm worried about the ordinary American and sometimes the non-Americans." 

He asked where the due process is for individuals who don't have an army of lawyers to challenge agency regulations. 

"Where's the equal protection when an agency can pick and choose unfavored targets for changes in the law?" he asked.  

Gorsuch declines to say whether 'Emoluments Clause' applies to Trump

10:53 a.m.

Gorsuch, under pressure from Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyCitizens lose when partisans play politics with the federal judiciary Senate Dems petition Saudi king to release dissidents, US citizen Patrick Leahy sits at center of partisan judicial nominations MORE (D-Vt.), refused to say whether President Trump may be subject to the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which prohibits any officeholder from receiving gifts from a foreign power.

Gorsuch said the issue may come before him if he’s confirmed to the Supreme Court, or even if he remains in his current job as a judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“It prohibits members of the government of this country from taking emoluments, gifts, from foreign agents and the question is what exactly does that mean. That is a subject on which there is ongoing litigation right now, senator, I believe,” he told Leahy. “I have to be very careful about expressing any views.” 

When Leahy asked if the nominee would be hesitant to discuss other key legal questions falling under the Fourth Amendment or the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, Gorsuch said he is “hesitant to discuss any part of the Constitution to the extent we’re talking about a case likely to come before a court.”

Ethics lawyers have filed a lawsuit charging that Trump is in violation of the Emoluments Clause because he hasn’t divested himself from his real-estate empire, which receives payment from foreign governments, such as a Chinese government-owned bank that pays rent to one of its properties.

Leahy presses Gorsuch on presidential authority

10:50 a.m.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) asked Gorsuch if a president has authority to violate laws and authorize torture and surveillance.

Gorsuch didn’t want to comment on a case that could come before him, but said generally that presidents make all sorts of arguments about inherent authority, “and that’s why we have courts to decide.”

Leahy said President Trump has claimed in his Muslim travel ban that there is no such thing as judicial supremacy. The Vermont Democrat asked if presidents have to comply with a judicial order of if it can be ignored.

“That’s the rule of law in this country and presidents for a long time have said all sorts of things like that,” Gorsuch said. “Presidents say these things, Congress says things and then judges decide and that’s how our system works.”

Asked if there is any circumstance in which President Trump could ignore a statute passed by Congress and signed into law to authorize torture or warrantless surveillance, Gorsuch said, “I don’t want to deal with a case that might come before me.”

“I would approach it as a judge through the lens of the Youngstown analysis,” Gorsuch said, referring to the landmark case Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer in which the Supreme Court barred President Harry Truman from seizing a steel plant in Ohio that he thought was essential to the Korean War effort.

Truman wanted to keep the plant open in the face of a strike, but the Supreme Court ruled that he exceeded his executive authority.

Justice Hugo Black, writing for the majority, ruled that the “President’s power, if any, to issue the order must stem either from an act of Congress or from the Constitution itself.”

Gorsuch’s answer indicates that he would require Trump to cite specific authority in the law or Constitution to order torture or warrantless surveillance — two issues Congress has legislated against in recent years.  

Gorsuch: Framers were 'racist,' 'sexist'

10:43 a.m.

California Democrat Diane Feinstein asked Gorsuch if he believes, given his originalist view of the Constitution, that women, gays and lesbians aren’t afforded equal protection under the law.

Gorsuch argued that the words of the 14th Amendment do protect minorities.

“When it comes to equal protection of laws, it matters not a wit that some of the drafters of the 14th Amendment were racists because they were or sexists because they were,” he said.

“The law they drafted promises equal protections of the laws to all persons. That’s what they wrote.”

Feinstein still called his originalist view troubling.

“The law has finally progressed that we now have the right to vote that took a long time. We’re still fighting for equal pay, equal work and it goes on and on. And as women take their place in the workplace, in society, we could have had a women president perhaps, life changes.”

Gorsuch said he understands her concern and shares it.

“I come from a family of strong women,” he said. “My two teenage daughters, you're right, I want ever opportunity for them that a young man has. I have a strong wife.”

Graham: Democrats applying a double-standard for Gorsuch

10:29 a.m.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Wednesday morning charged that Democrats are applying a double standard against Gorsuch by demanding he answer substantive questions about his constitutional views when they did not do the same for liberal Supreme Court nominees.

“When there’s a Republican nominee, you’ve got to tell these senators that you won’t get in the way of their agenda,” Graham said.

Graham and other Republicans have reminded their Democratic colleagues that in the past they declared that liberal Supreme Court nominees such as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg not be required to reveal their views on issues likely to come before them.

“If we’re going to vote against a nominee because they won’t tell us things that we want to hear about issues important to us then the whole nominating process has become a joke,” Graham said.

Feinstein to Gorsuch: You had an obligation to find the truth

10:10 a.m.

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGOP lawmaker offers constitutional amendment capping Supreme Court seats at 9 Overnight Energy: Judge halts drilling on Wyoming public lands over climate change | Dems demand details on Interior's offshore drilling plans | Trump mocks wind power Dem senators demand offshore drilling info before Bernhardt confirmation hearing MORE (Calif.), the senior Democrat on Judiciary Committee, rebuked Gorsuch Wednesday morning for failing to make more of an effort to find out whether harsh interrogation tactics used under President George W. Bush produced meaningful results.

Gorsuch helped craft legal defenses for the administration’s interrogation policy when he served as a senior official in the Justice Department in 2005 and 2006.

Feinstein pointed to Gorsuch’s handwritten note on one key document answering “yes” to the question of whether harsh interrogation tactics had yielded valuable intelligence used to stop terrorist incidents. 

“My question is what information did you have that the Bush administration’s aggressive interrogation techniques were effective?” she asked.

Gorsuch claimed to have a hazy memory of what happened 12 years ago, to which Feinstein quickly replied, “But you’re very young.”

Gorsuch then recalled that “that was the position that the clients were telling us.”

“I was a lawyer. My job was an advocate, and we were dealing with detainee litigation,” he said

“So you had no personal information?” Feinstein asked.

“Oh, no,” Gorsuch answered.

That didn’t sit well with Feinstein.

“That circles around in my brain a little bit because it seems to me that people who advise have an obligation to find the truth in these situations,” she said.

She said “we really saw the horrendous nature” of what happened to suspected terrorists who were subjected to abusive practices without supervision or legal oversight.  

Grassley gavels in Day 3

9:37 a.m.

The Senate Judiciary Committee gaveled in Wednesday morning for the third day of Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings. 

"Good morning, Judge. I know you slept well," Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said. 

"Is that a question?" Gorsuch replied, drawing early laughs from the crowd.

Grassley said he is prepared to stay as long as the committee needs to allow each member to ask questions, so other witnesses can give their testimony tomorrow.  

Each member will have 20 minutes to pepper Gorsuch with a second round of questioning.