President Trump’s pick to fill the long-gapped opening in the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, has been fielding questions from the Senate this week in a confirmation hearing that could see him appointed to the highest court in the land.
Throughout the hearing, Democrats and Republicans have quizzed Gorsuch on his understanding of legal precedents, his personal politics, and how the two may intertwine. Thus far, his answers have prompted some debate along ideological lines, but he has successfully evaded adding much to the drama that has followed much of the hotly divided parties’ efforts to confirm Trump’s cabinet appointees by remaining level-headed and emphasizing the law over personal beliefs.
Earlier this week, one of the more contentious subjects of U.S. law, the 2nd Amendment, was brought up by Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein. During her questioning, she brought up historic cases regarding the right to own and carry firearms, and statements issued by previous judges regarding such weapons.
Although recognized as a conservative, Gorsuch has had little to say in the public eye regarding the 2nd Amendment in the recent past, prompting many to pay close attention to the potential Supreme Court justice’s responses. The Senator first asked Gorsuch about his position on the landmark 2008 case, the District of Columbia v. Heller – a 5-4 decision that protected an individual’s right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful pursuits. Feinstein asked Gorsuch, who is slated to replace conservative justice Antonin Scalia, if he could agree with a statement made by Scalia regarding the limits of the 2nd Amendment. Gorsuch replied by debating a bit with the senator, emphasizing that it isn’t about his opinion on the topic, it’s about the law.