Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch should get the full hearing on the Senate Judiciary Committee that Judge Merrick Garland was denied, Democratic Sen. Chris Coons, a committee member, said Wednesday, but he wants his fellow party members to give President Donald Trump's nominee a chance.
"There was a 10-month delay [for Garland], as Sen. Mitch McConnell and the Republican majority held open this seat until the general election," the Delaware lawmaker told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program.
"But I don't think that we should respond in a tit-for-tat way and refuse to participate, cooperate, or hold a hearing for Judge Gorsuch. I look forward to digging into his record, to meeting with him personally and to better understanding his judicial philosophy. And I think we should take this one step at a time."
Meanwhile, Coons explained his decision to vote against Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions, whose nomination is expected to be confirmed by a full Senate.
"He is a colleague with whom I worked well on two or three criminal justice reform and federal funding issues but I have significant disagreements with him [about] a wide range of issues about privacy, torture, voting rights, and criminal justice reform," said Coons.
"Although I like and have enjoyed the company of Sen. Sessions, I am not going to vote for him today in committee."
Coons also spoke about Trump's decision to fire acting Attorney General Sally Yates for her refusal to defend his executive order on travel from the Middle East, saying she had done exactly what she was asked about during her own confirmation hearing.
"She was a career Department of Justice employee and Sen. Sessions asked in her confirmation hearing if she would be willing to stand up to a president who she thought was issuing an illegal order or carrying out an illegal action, and she said yes," said Coons.
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