Evangelical Christian leaders rallied around Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch as he was questioned for more than eleven hours yesterday during a Senate confirmation hearing.
The consensus was the conservative judge emerged largely unscathed after 20 senators on the committee questioned Gorsuch for 30 minutes each.
Gorsuch repeatedly stressed his independence. 'The bottom line that I'd like to convey to you, from the bottom of my heart, is that I'm a fair judge,' the Supreme Court nominee told the judiciary committee Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein.
On abortion, Gorsuch assured the committee that no member of the Trump Administration had asked him to commit to overturning Roe v. Wade, despite Trump's campaign pledge only to appoint pro-life judges.
'I have offered no promises on how I would rule in any case to anyone and I don't think it'd be appropriate for a judge to do so,' Gorsuch said. He added that Trump had mentioned abortion in a meeting only to say that 'one of the topics that came up during the campaign was abortion, and it was very divisive and split people evenly.'
The hearing came after the evangelist Franklin Graham said the high court was the paramount issue of the 2016 election and Christians should pray for Gorsuch. Graham added that 'atheist progressives' are working to 'strip God and all references to Him' from the public square and are pushing Christians 'into the shadows'.
Writing on Facebook on Monday, Graham said: 'The atheist progressives in this nation want to strip God and all references to Him out of our society. They want to marginalize Christians to the point of making them second-class citizens, forcing them into the shadows and penalizing them if they don't go there...This past election was about the Supreme Court, and the issue facing us today is not wiretaps, it's not Russia, it's still about the Supreme Court.'
Yesterday, Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, the President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), added his voice to those supporting Gorsuch's appointment, calling for an end to partisan division.
'As our nation's political divide has seemed more like a chasm in recent weeks, I urge our politicians on both sides of the aisle to give an honest confirmation hearing to President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court,' he said. 'Rarely in modern history have politics felt as divisive and as poisonous as they do today, and rarely has an opportunity presented itself with such potential to bridge what divides us. The recent trend of blocking such nominees by both Republicans and Democrats must stop. These political games are not in the best interest of the United States.'
Dr. Rodriguez lavishly praised Gorsuch. 'Judge Gorsuch's credentials are impeccable, his track record is exemplary and his legal mind is universally regarded. The American Bar Association has publicly affirmed the nomination, and perhaps even more impressive, a bipartisan and diverse collection of Judge Gorsuch's classmates from Harvard Law School penned a joint letter expressing their enthusiastic support,' he said.
'I pray that our lawmakers in Washington would not use Judge Gorsuch's nomination as an opportunity to further pit Americans against each other, but rather as an opportunity to sanity, cooperation, and compromise. I pray that the Senate would have the political courage to move swiftly to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court as a Justice who will defend the rights of all Americans, and who will preserve and defend the Constitution with wisdom, integrity and impartiality.'