The Latest: Grassley says Gorsuch is ‘mainstream’ judge

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court (all times local):

10:25 a.m.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley says Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is a mainstream judge who will be independent from the president. The Iowa Republican is accusing Democrats of “moving the goal posts” in their assessment of Gorsuch.

Grassley opened a committee meeting on Gorsuch’s nomination by making the case in favor of President Donald Trump’s nominee for the high court. Republicans on the committee are expected to send Gorsuch’s nomination to the full Senate after a lengthy series of speeches.

Most Democrats are expected to oppose the nomination.

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3:30 a.m.

A Senate panel is opening a weeklong partisan showdown over President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee with Democrats steadily amassing the votes to block Neil Gorsuch and force Republicans to unilaterally change long-standing rules to confirm him.

The Republican-led Judiciary Committee meets Monday and is expected to back Gorsuch and send his nomination to the full Senate, most likely on a near-party line vote. Intent on getting Trump’s pick on the high court, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is likely to change Senate rules so that Gorsuch can be confirmed with a simple majority in the 100-seat chamber, instead of the 60-voter threshold.

So far, 36 Democrats and one independent have announced they will vote to block the nomination on a procedural cloture vote – a parliamentary step to advance a legislative issue – and oppose the choice. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., who faces a tough re-election in a state Trump won handily, announced his opposition on Sunday.

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