Hirono: Would Gorsuch have done more if he looked at legislative history?
Hirono: Your family had a lot of resources. Knowing that you are one of thousands in this country who look to IDEA for educational support, what did you think of the family's that do not have all the resources you have?
Perkins: That is probably one of the most frequent thoughts we had through this whole legally process (we presumably is his family)
Perkins: Having a child with a severe disability is completely overwhelming, and even for us we thought this might be impossible, because the law, apparently, is not on our side
Hirono to Calamine: Are you familiar with NLRB decision?
Hirono: Gorsuch had a dissent about workers denied longer hours. Do you have any thoughts?
Calamine: In dissent, Gorsuch said hospital workers whose hours had been reduced unlawfully and who went out and got other jobs -- wanted the money they had earned in those other jobs should be detracted from the back-pay work they received.
Calamine: This shows that Gorsuch does not understand situations of workers and (asked by Hirono) we are concerned about what Gorsuch could do on SCOTUS
Grassley to Kane (his first questions): When you were public defender, did you adopt every position of client?
Grassley: So you can represent someone without agreeing with them?
Feinstein: My view is that for those in government, the standard has to be different. You have to do what's right, even up to the launching of a nuclear bomb.
Feinstein: Our obligation in government is to do what's right as far as we know it, and this includes attorneys
Feinstein: I was McCain's co-sponsor on his bill. And now reads from a statement McCain gave on the floor in 2008, which makes clear that his view was that the law banned water-boarding
Feinstein adds this statement to the record
To Calamine: The importance of our consideration here is not only results but also his approach to analysis in cases.
Blumenthal names a few cases
This includes TransAm trucking, the now famous cases about a truck driver in freezing temperatues
Blumenthal to Calamine: Can you comment on the purposes of the laws he was interpreting here and if you have reservations about his method of reasoning in approaching these laws?
Calamine: Purpose of the laws is to protect workers' health and safety
Calamine: One of the most alarming things about one of those cases was describing purpose as "ephemeral and generic," as if not enough concrete there to guide in interpretation
Calamine: Another concern is his description of OSHA'a power, involved worker's electrocution to death -- just a $5k fine on employer. But workers rely on this agency and others to protect them
Calamine: We don't want a random dictionary pulled out to change definitions of law
Bressack now volunteers to speak.
She notes that there are other cases in which he ruled for workers. His approach is to look at the text. This process does not change. It's the result that changes.
Blumenthal: To regard a worker protection statute as "ephemeral and generic" is in my view a gross understatement of the purpose of these laws
Blumenthal: People leave families and expect to come home without having been injured, mangled or impaled
Blumenthal: I've been here for seven years. I've never heard a senator quote the Oxford dictionary for the meaning of a term. Not once. Yet Gorsuch uses it abundantly. That's not a real world approach to health and safety. That's a concern.
Grassley says we will go with next panel until 12:35, then there will be a vote, then the panel will reconvene at 1:05 or so
Here are the witnesses from the majority in the next panel.
Mr. Jeff Lamken
Professor Lawrence Solum
Carmack Waterhouse Professor Of Law
Georgetown University Law Center
Professor Jonathan Turley
J.B. And Maurice C. Shapiro Professor Of Public Interest Law
The George Washington University Law School
Ms. Karen Harned
National Federation Of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center
And from the minority:
Ms. Heather McGhee
Ms. Heather McGhee
New York, NY
Ms. Fatima Goss Graves
Senior Vice President For Program & President-Elect
National Women’s Law Center
Mr. Pat Gallagher
Environmental Law Program
Ms. Eve Hill
Brown Goldstein Levy
New York, NY
Lamken is going over how he knows Gorsuch -- back to his 1992 clerkship with O'Connor -- and about being friends, talking about daughters
People who say if you want a friend in Washington, get a job -- they don't know Neil Gorsuch
He is someone who truly listens and can be persuaded.
Lamken: This is why the Chief Justice says before argument that "we will hear argument" instead of "have argument"
Lamken: I don't know how he will rule. He will listen to both sides, not to his previous intuitions.
Now Heather McGhee, president of Demos, a public policy organization. Demos has publicly opposed the nomination.
McGhee: Gorsuch has potential to be the deciding vote in casting down few remaining safeguards against money in politics.
McGhee: The way we fund campaigns in country allows those with money to translate their views into policy.