Next up: Senator Crapo from Idaho. Key question: What kind of justice should serve on the Supreme Court?
In recent years, selecting judges has become more about a numbers game, with focus on how many judges appointed by presidents from different parties.
Because venue shopping has become all too common, the individual judge can become more than the facts of the case.
We are getting close to the end of the senators' statements.
True vision of American justice: the law is supreme, and the facts decide the day. Different judges would reach the same conclusion, says Crapo.
As I reflect on the Gorsuch nomination, says Crapo, I think back to our meeting after his nomination was announced. I have met several nominees, but he stands out.
He understands that the judge is the servant of the law, not the maker of it. He said his personal views are irrelevant.
Gorsuch recognizes that the law may be imperfect, but there is a remedy to that imperfection: the political system, directly accountable to the public.
The law can frustrate, says Crapo.
Law that can change in a moment and capriciously is inherently destablizing, says Crapo.
Policy changes advanced by judges can be reversed, and reversed again. Law properly grounded in the democratic process cannot.
"Equal protection under the law" and "justice is blind" are fundamental principles of our system.
Some may not like a particular law, says Crapo. But the remedy for this disagreement is changing the law, not changing the judges.
No one seriously questions Gorsuch's qualifications or capability. He is exactly the model for an appointment to the court, says Crapo. Winding down now . . . .
Senator Tillis of NC up next.
I am convinced you have an at-rest heart rate of about 4, says Tillis.
I think there is some confusion in terms of comments by my colleagues. Nominee before us today is not Trump or McConnell or Merrick Garland.
It's one of the most talented and capable people we can possibly have on the Court, and we should focus on him at this hearing.
Discussing importance and longevity of justices.
I have no doubt that you have the qualifications. I appreciate your hard work as a student, litigator, and judge. "I think it's extraordinary."
Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, the last Democrat, is not in the room, so Grassley has called on Sen. Tom Thillis of North Carolina.
I don't like activist judges. We pass laws; your role as a judge is to interpret them. You see the bright line between the two. And you acknowledged this in your comments after you were nominated.
Comments on your earlier opinions: They relate to instances where you weren't really happy about the outcome, says Tillis.
You didn't allow your empathy or sympathy about the case to influence what the law is, says Tillis.
Hirono is back at her seat, so she'll be up next. Then Sen. John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana.
I want the American people to spend more time listening to you talking. I look forward to the remaining testimony.
Now Senator Hirono of Hawaii. Aloha, Judge Gorsuch.
This is about more than a nominee. It's about the future of our country.
It's about Muslim Americans who are victims seeking protection from the court. It's about women having the choice of what to do with their bodies, says Hirono. I got into public service to help these people.
Gorsuch has now had to turn so far to his right to face Hirono that I can see half of his face.
Sen. Hirono discussing her experiences as an immigrant... "no religious requirements"
My story might be unique for a U.S. senator but very familiar to others. My mother had to flee an abusive marriage when I was 8, so we left Japan to come here. If Eisenhower had pursued the same requirements that Trump would impose, I might not be here.
I protested against the war in Vietnam, but we decided we needed to do more than protest. That's why I am here today.
Over the past few months, I have heard from 1000s of people who are worried about families and the future of our country under the Trump administration. Also worried about what will happen if you are confirmed.
People are often in court because they have experienced the worst days of their lives.
I have not seen that the rights of minorities are a priority for you.
You rarely seem to find in favor of the "little guy," says Hirono.
In Planned Parenthood v. Herbert, your dissent was too deferential to the government's decisions.
And in Hobby Lobby, your opinion justified denying contraception access on the ground that corporations can hold religious beliefs.
Suggests that Gorsuch has commitment to ideology over common sense. In Trans-Am Trucking, she says, you fixated on the plain meaning of the term "operate."
As a justice, your decisions will have lasting consequences for the rest of us. Trump indicated that he would have "litmus tests" for nominees. Each test would have profound impact on lives of everyday Americans.
Litmus tests were crystal clear, she says: I can only conclude that because you were nominated you passed the litmus tests.
We need to know what's in your heart, says Hirono.
Will courts protect the rights of working people or side with corporations who want to dismantle organized labor, asks Hirono?
Will the Court protect our land, water, earth -- or gut decades of environmental regulations?