Yesterday, we heard opening statements from the Senate Judiciary Committee and Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Today, Gorsuch will face questions from the senators in 30-minute intervals. The hearing should last 12 hours.

Will Democrats soften their stance on Gorsuch? As CBS pointed out, the Democrats “stressed that Gorsuch has impeccable credentials” and everything needed to serve on the Supreme Court. They want to make sure he “will maintain his independence” when situations “are particularly divisive.” The Democrats also brought a few cases Monday that they will probably address today, including the infamous Hobby Lobby case by the U.S. Court of Appeals of the 10th Circuit. Gorsuch ruled with the majority that allowed the Green family, owners of the popular craft shop, to object “covering birth control for their employees.”

Gorsuch Responses to GOP

Gorsuch promised to look at facts and acknowledges there are no Republican or Democrat judges. He claimed he will keep an open mind and make a decision “based on the facts of the law.” He pointed out that he has dissented with judges appointed by presidents of both parties. Gorsuch noted that he has never made any promises on how he would rule on cases nor did anyone ask him for voting commitments.

Gorsuch continued to comment or give his opinion on past precedents because he believes it deprives him of his independence.

Gorsuch acknowledges he took a hit when he ruled with Hobby Lobby, but reminds Hatch that he applies to religious freedom to all. He also applied it to Little Sisters of the Poor, who also sued over birth control coverage. But Gorsuch also took the side of a Muslim prisoner in Oklahoma when the prison denied him a Halal meal.

Gorsuch continues to show that he will not tell anyone how he would rule on probable future cases, even if it comes to President Donald Trump:

Democrat Questions

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has asked about wiretapping when President George Bush pushed through wiretapping of U.S. citizens. She also asked him about enhanced interrogation tactics from President George Bush’s administration when he worked in the DOJ. Feinstein has asked about firearms, including Heller and if the 2nd amendment is ambiguous.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) asked Durbin about accusations thrown at him about maternity leave and family plans.

Gorsuch Responses to Democrats

Gorsuch said that he does not believe that the president has authority to wiretap U.S. citizens that cannot be legislated away. He also could not answer some questions she asked until he reads the emails and documents she holds. Despite Feinstein’s pushes on firearms, Gorsuch reminds her that the law is the law and it does not matter if he agrees with it. It is the law and he will uphold it. It’s his job to follow the law.

Again, Gorsuch said he will not comment on former precedents because it may give away his future decisions. It will strip him of his independence.

Here is Gorsuch’s response to Durbin about the maternity question:

Gorsuch clarified that he asked students how many of the females faced questions by employers if they wanted to start a family. He couldn’t believe how many raised their hands and finds the question from employers inappropriate. Gorsuch discussed the complications his own mother had to go through as a young lawyer because she wanted to start a family.