Witnessing a Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing | The Washington Center

Witnessing a Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing

Last week, I had the opportunity to witness history by attending day three of Neil Gorsuch's confirmation hearing at the Hart Senate Office Building.

 

Because it was difficult to accommodate everyone in the room where the hearing was held, people moved in and out of the room on a rotational basis. This meant that a person would have to wait in line for an average of 15-20 minutes before getting a ticket and being seated. After being seated, they had the freedom to sit in the hearing room for 25-30 minutes before being asked to get up and leave again. You may be thinking, "Just 25-30 minutes? That's it?!" But, no, that is not all.

 

 

In fact, each member of the audience had the opportunity to listen in on the hearing again, if they wished. In order for this to happen, however, they would have to go back in line and wait 15-20 minutes again, in order to sit down for another 20 minutes. Initially, this may all seem vexatious, but for those who really cared about the hearing, the time and delay was worth it. I rotated 3 times and was still able to witness about 3 hours of the hearing.

 

Now, let's get to the actual substance of the hearing. The seats reserved for the public were located all the way in the back. I felt like I was lurking in the penumbras, the very shadows of the hearing room, like I was some silhouette of a spectator. I had a good surveying view of every senator, except for the superstar of the hearing himself, Neil Gorsuch.



Source: NewsOk

 

But, to the public's advantage, there were three TVs facing each side of the audience. While I could not physically see his face, I still heard him speak.

 

The hearing was a great spectacle. It was interesting to watch all of the senators grill Gorsuch on pivotal matters, such as abortion, LGBTQ rights, corporations, immigration and civil issues. I could not help but grin when I watched senators make references to his dissertation and probe him about his own judicial philosophy.

 

I was so ecstatic to see Senator Feinstein, Senator Durbin, Senator Cruz and Senator Hirono in action. It is one thing to read about such senators, but it is another to actually see them perform their functions in person.

 

Gorsuch was very firm in most of his responses, pledging to be impartial and as unbiased as possible. He was also big on abiding by set precedents. But, in no way shape or form did he give away any of his own judicial ideology.

 

This was a very valuable experience for me. As I am writing this, we are still unsure about whether Gorsuch will get confirmed or not. And if confirmed, we are not entirely sure about what he will bring. But, dubieties aside...all I I know is that If I had the opportunity to witness history in the making again, I would seize that opportunity in a heartbeat.

 

Ci vediamo!

P.


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