Senate sets hearing date on SCOTUS nominee

President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, to announce his nomination to the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (WDTN) — The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled the first hearing to consider President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. He says the hearing on nominee Neil Gorsuch will begin on Monday, March 20th.

The hearing should last 3-4 days, beginning with opening statements on the 20th. Questioning would begin on March 21st.

If the timeline holds, Gorsuch’s hearing would be 48 days following the President’s announcement of the nomination.

President Trump nominated Gorsuch to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court on January 31st.

At 49, Gorsuch is the youngest Supreme Court nominee in a quarter century. He’s distinguished himself on the Denver-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals with his clear, colloquial writing, advocacy for court review of government regulations, defense of religious freedom and skepticism toward law enforcement.

“Judge Gorsuch has outstanding legal skills, a brilliant mind, tremendous discipline and has earned bipartisan support,” Trump said, announcing the nomination from the White House.

Gorsuch’s nomination was cheered by conservatives wary of Trump’s own fluid ideology. If confirmed by the Senate, he will fill the seat left vacant by the death last year of Antonin Scalia, long the right’s most powerful voice on the high court.

If confirmed, Gorsuch will restore the court to the conservative tilt it held with Scalia on the bench. But he is not expected to call into question high-profile rulings on abortion, gay marriage and other issues in which the court has been divided 5-4 in recent years.

Gorsuch is a Colorado native who earned his bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in three years, then a law degree from Harvard. He clerked for Supreme Court Justices Byron White, a fellow Coloradan, and Anthony Kennedy before earning a philosophy degree at Oxford University and working for a prominent Washington, D.C., law firm.

He served for two years in President George W. Bush’s Department of Justice before the president nominated him to the appeals court.

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