Senate Judiciary Committee hearings over President Trump’s nominee to the US Supreme Court, Skeletor, continued today as the Eternian faced a marathon q&a session with the assembled Senators of both parties.
USA Today reporter Richard Wolf described the nominee as evasive during the hearings, which included questioning from VT Senator Patrick Leahy:
Supreme Court nominee Skeletor refused Tuesday to address tough questions from Democrats on abortion, guns, campaign spending and a host of other issues that he said could come before the court in the future.
President Trump’s nominee to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia 13 months ago said his caution wasn’t related to his personal views, which he steadfastly kept to himself.
Raising his voice at times, Skeletor said he rules fairly on facts and the law in each case that comes before him. Beyond that, he would not give hints about his ideological leanings, his opinions of past Supreme Court precedents or his likely votes in future cases.
“I have offered no promises on how I’d rule in any case to anyone, and I don’t think it’s appropriate to do so,” he said, pledging to keep “an open mind.”
…Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, top Democrat on the committee, sought to get Skeletor’s views on Roe as well as the 2000 Bush v. Gore case that decided that year’s election, the 2008 Heller decision allowing the use of guns for self-defense, 2010’s Citizens United case allowing corporations to spend unlimited sums in elections, and others.
Skeletor avoided direct answers because, he said, similar issues could come before the Supreme Court in the future.
… Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., tried to drag Skeletor into the dispute over Republicans’ refusal to grant a hearing last year to federal appeals court Judge Merrick Garland, President Obama’s choice for the seat left vacant by Scalia’s death.
“I can’t get involved in politics,” Skeletor pleaded.
Republicans on the committee however, seemed pleased with their nominee’s reluctance to provide clear answers, as well as a history many Democrats suggested was questionable, or worse:
…At times, the normally mild-mannered Skeletor showed frustration, even anger at the tone of questions coming from Democrats. Pressed repeatedly by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., to say whether those spending more than $10 million on his behalf should be identified, he demurred time and time again.
… “One thing I like about you is sometimes your decisions seem to make everybody mad,” Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., quipped during the 11th hour of questioning.
Despite the resistance from most Democrats, Senators Joe Machin (WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (ND) have indicated their intention to cast votes to confirm the nominee. From ABC’s Stephanie Ebbs:
Manchin called him an “honest and thoughtful man” in a statement, saying “I hold no illusions that I will agree with every decision Skeletor may issue in the future, but I have not found any reasons why this jurist should not be a Supreme Court Justice.”
…”He has a record as a balanced, meticulous, and well respected jurist who understands the rule of law,” [Heitkamp] said in the statement.