Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court begin.  Senators are expected to give opening statements today, beginning with Chairman Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein, and Judge Gorsuch will deliver a prepared statement as well.  Judge Gorsuch’s testimony will begin on Tuesday and likely extend until Wednesday.  On Thursday, the Committee is expected to hear from about two dozen outside witnesses, including Center Senior Vice President for Program and President-elect Fatima Goss Graves.

Recent coverage leading up to the hearing has focused on documents submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee late last week, in which a former student of Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch alleges he made a series of comments asserting that companies should ask female applicants about whether and when they plan to have children, because otherwise women manipulate employers by accepting jobs, getting pregnant and going on maternity leave, and not returning to work afterwards. In addition, recently released documents from the Department of Justice, which pertain to Judge Gorsuch’s service in the Bush Administration, indicate that Judge Gorsuch had a role in defending the Bush Administration’s policies, including interrogation of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison and Guantanamo Bay, purported to combat terrorism. These topics, and many more, are likely to be a focus of Senators’ questions over the course of the hearings.