Gorsuch steers around sharp questions at hearing Day 3

Even as Gorsuch testified, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of NY spoke on the Senate floor in an effort to connect the Supreme Court nominee with the president who picked him. Gorsuch did the same, including when Feinstein asked if courts should have the ultimate say in determining the extent of Americans' right to bear arms.

"So, my wife also sent me a text a little bit ago and said - and I'm sure she didn't expect me to read it, but -how in the world is Gorsuch able to go so many hours at a time without peeing?" But Senate Democrats have appeared divided on their strategy, with any delay tactics potentially risking a change to the Senate rules by Republicans that would decrease the influence that the minority party has on future Supreme Court nominations.

Gorsuch, who is 49 years old, serves on the 10th US Circuit Court of appeals in Denver.

Ms Feinstein asked whether the landmark 1973 ruling Roe v Wade, which legalised abortion, should be protected as a "super precedent" - a ruling so ingrained in law it is hard to overturn.

"Senator", Gorsuch replied, "I would have walked out the door". "That's not relevant to my job".

Democrats said they were troubled by a judicial record they said was animated by a cold and literal reading of the law and skewed toward business interests.

Senate Democrats on Wednesday seized on what, for nominee Neil Gorsuch, was an ill-timed ruling from the Supreme Court - a unanimous decision that ended up tossing a legal standard set by Gorsuch almost a decade ago.

For their part, Democrats are divided on what to do about Gorsuch and how hard to fight his confirmation, given their frustration over Garland's treatment and the fury of liberal base voters over Trump.

He listed off a number of cases in which he felt he ruled against "the big guy".

Reminded of one congressman who said it would be good to have him on the court to back the ban, Mr Gorsuch said: "A lot of people say a lot of silly things".

"If President Eisenhower pursued the same policies President Trump would like to, it's very possible I wouldn't be here today", said Hirono, 69.

Media captionThe Supreme Court has been without a full bench for nearly a full year.

But Democratic options are limited.

Among Senate Judiciary chair Chuck Grassley's remarks on Tuesday morning at Neil Gorsuch's nomination hearing was a brief mention of National Constitution Center president and CEO Jeffrey Rosen.

How does the process work?

He answered friendly questions from majority Republicans in the same way as they tried to help him highlight his neutrality in face of Democratic attempts to link him to Trump, who nominated him.

  • Leroy Wright