Massimino: We do not question credentials, but his record raises concerns
Massimino: At DOJ -- subversion of congressional authority, avoiding judicial review and torture
Massimino: For Bush administration, involved with president's assaults on constitutional order that courts ultimately rejected
After images of torture emerged from Afghanistan/Iraq, and Congress passed law, Gorsuch involved in arguing how administration could avoid following
Massimino now moves into torture, says Gorsuch seems to have worked hard to defend it while at government, not fighting it
Massimino: I encourage Senate to "get to the bottom of this" -- did Gorsuch agree or not? If not, why did he not fight it?
Retired judge Robert Harlan Henry and president of Oklahoma City University now speaking. Henry was Chief Judge of 10th Circuit from 1994 to 2010 (appointed by Clinton)
Henry gives us another Hamilton reference, first for today
Henry says Gorsuch is candidate "architect Hamilton would warmly embrace"
Henry now going into Gorsuch's qualifications
Senator Lee is here, but Grassley has left -- it seems like today there will be a lot of moving in and out of the room
Senator Durbin also briefly appeared and left
Henry is now praising Gorsuch's legal thought in his book and his integrity
Henry now talking about cases involving land, water, American Indian tribes, etc that arise in 10th Circuit
Henry now talking about program Gorsuch was involved with to improve the quality of death-penalty legal defense in the circuit, on pro bono basis -- Henry quotes one lawyer as saying this had instrumental effect in circuit
Jameel Jaffer of the Knight First Amendment Institute speaking
Jaffer: I agree he is qualified, but his time at DOJ raises concerns about his views on executive power
Jaffer: Gorsuch might approach questions of executive power as a justice differently than as a DOJ lawyer -- he called himself just a scribe -- but I would encourage senators to be skeptical
Jaffer: Gorsuch sought out a high level job with government only shortly after photos and documents revealing torture were released
Jaffer: Gorsuch did not register disagreement or discomfort with any of the policies of the government, even though others did
Jaffer: The recently released documents suggest Gorsuch was comfortable with the torture policies
Jaffer: Senator Durbin (now here) asked him about this, but I hope he will have space for more of an answer in written testimony
Jaffer is now going into expansions of executive power by Trump administraiton
Jaffer: If confirmed, Gorsuch will be called on to rule on some of these policies
Jaffer: This is not a partisan issue. Powers abused today by Republican president could be used tomorrow by a Democrat
Judge John L. Kane, trial judge for District of Colorado, now speaking
Kane: Judges no different than anyone else. We have social, political, and religious views.
Kane: To don the robe, however, is to surrender the freedom to act on those views so that justice may be served. This is judicial integrity
Kane: Question for any nominee is if he or she has the discipline to do that. I believe Judge Gorsuch and his opinions prove it. I don't identify liberal or conservative judges, because they only mean what the speaker wants them to mean. Gorsuch and I share few views, but that's not the question -- again, it's about judicial integrity
Kane: To the extent a judge can be judged by his opinions, his are clear, cogent, and mercifully to the point. I have been affirmed and reversed, but I always thought he was fair
Kane: The only judge of whom I am aware who has written majority and concurring opinions in same case. So, he knows the difference between speaking for a court and speaking for himself.
Kane: His opinions also make clear that he understands the separation of powers
Kane now quoting Justice Holmes in Lochner -- this decision depends on a legal philosophy, but my agreement or disagreement with a law has nothing to do with right of majority to embody opinions in law. Gorsuch understands this, Kane testifies.
Now Jeff Perkins speaking -- father of Luke, a child with autism, involved in recent case
Perkins is explaining difficulties his son faced as a child
Child's life improved dramatically from school in Boston, but was extremely expensive. Sought reimbursement under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Gorsuch wrote decision overturning district court decision giving reimbursement.
Gorsuch's standards was "merely more than de minimis," meaning, to Perkins, that despite child's lack of advancement, school district had done its part
Now an adult, Luke will always need support, but his quality of life after education is vastly better than it would have been otherwise. Father is showing an incredible US capitol that Luke created with legos -- says this improvement would have been impossible without education.
Perkins now returning to Gorsuch's opinions, which Edith just linked to, and how this opinion has denied appropriate education for children in the 10th Circuit.
Perkins now quotes from Chief Justice Roberts' opinion yesterday that overturned Gorsuch's standard
Leah Bressack, former clerk of Gorsuch's from 2009-2011, speaking about his independent approach to cases
Bressack: Most of Gorsuch's decisions unanimous -- shows his deep respect for all sides of case
Bressack: This process consumed my life for two years
Bressack: I change from title in judge to justice will not change him