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National Govt & Politics
Hearings for Trump Supreme Court pick to start March 20
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Hearings for Trump Supreme Court pick to start March 20

Hearings for Trump Supreme Court pick to start March 20
Photo Credit: Jamie Dupree

Hearings for Trump Supreme Court pick to start March 20

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee announced today that confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch will begin on March 20, likely pushing the start of a Senate floor fight over his confirmation until after Easter, and maybe into the summer, if Democratic opponents filibuster that nomination.

In a release issued by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) said he expects the Gorsuch hearings to last three to four days; Gorsuch will begin his testimony on March 20.

"Gorsuch’s hearing will begin 48 days following the announcement of his nomination," the Judiciary Committee release stated, noting that hearings began 48 days after the nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and 49 days after the nomination of Justice Elana Kagan.

With hearings the week of March 20, it is probably more likely that Gorsuch would be voted on in the Senate Judiciary Committee after Easter - the Senate is scheduled to be out of session for an Easter break from April 7 to April 24.

Once the Gorsuch nomination goes to the Senate floor, that's when this battle could get much more intense, as Democrats have threatened a filibuster, which would require 60 votes to break.

Republicans have 52 votes in the Senate; they have been trying to put public pressure on some Democratic Senators to allow for a final vote on President Trump's Supreme Court choice.

If the GOP cannot get to 60 votes, then there is already pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to use the "nuclear option" and change the rules of the Senate, to get rid of that 60 vote requirement.

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News

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  • A man who police said made threats toward children months ago outside an Incredible Pizza restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee, has been arrested. Zantarrian Ferguson was arrested and charged with reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon and evading arrest with third-party injuries, police said. Police told WHBQ-TV that Ferguson was asked to leave the business in November after threatening a group of people about stealing a phone. >> Read more trending news Once outside, Ferguson pulled out an AK-47 and aimed it at a bus filled with children, according to police.  People at the scene pleaded for Ferguson to put the gun away, but he continued to yell at the bus, authorities said. Police said Ferguson eventually got into the driver's seat of a silver SUV and fled the scene. Officers reportedly found Ferguson on Cordova Road fleeing the scene south of Incredible Pizza. Police said they caught up with Ferguson in the Walmart parking lot in the 500 block North Germantown Parkway. When police approached the vehicle, Ferguson fled the scene again at a high rate of speed, authorities said. Ferguson eventually crashed into another vehicle at the intersection of Walnut Grove and Germantown Parkway. Police said Ferguson fled the scene again, but several children were in the car at the time of the crash. The youngest child was only 2 years old. Investigators also located the AK-47 and two Glock pistols inside the vehicle, police said. Ferguson is being held on a $21,000 bond. His next court appearance is July 2 at 9 a.m.
  • A Memphis, Tennessee, family is devastated and trying to cope with the loss of their 4-year-old son.  Ayden Robinson was accidentally shot and killed by his 3-year-old brother Monday at the Pershing Park Apartments in Frayser, authorities said.  >> On Fox13Memphis.com: Boy, 4, accidentally shot and killed by 3-year-old brother, police say When WHBQ-TV spoke with the boys' parents on Tuesday, their emotions were still raw from the tragic death.  Precious Wright and Travis Robinson are not only grieving their child’s loss  but also figuring out how they are going to pay for his funeral. “I wish he could come back,” Wright said. “I just want my baby to come back.” Wright was understandably emotional as she described the loss. On Monday afternoon, Wright rushed Ayden to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital after he was shot accidentally by his brother. Police said Ayden and his little brother, Jayden, found an unattended gun in a dresser drawer inside the apartment. Investigators confirmed that the boys were alone inside that room when the shooting happened. “Ayden, he was always a nice child,” said Travis Robinson, the boys’ father. “He was that child that needed special attention – that love. He always acted like a baby, so I treated him like a baby. Because in my eyes, he still is a baby.” According to police documents, Jayden accidentally shot Ayden. He was rushed to the hospital but later died. Nathaniel Wilkins, Wright’s boyfriend, is now being charged with reckless homicide. Wilkins admitted the gun belonged to him and that he 'left it in an area accessible to the children,' according to the arrest affidavit.  “Jayden, when it comes down to it at night, he’s going to be like, ‘Momma, where’s Ayden at? I want Ayden.’ I don’t even know how I’m going to explain to him where his brother’s at,” said the boys’ father. >> Read more trending news Now, the boys’ parents are dealing with the grief while also making plans to bury their son. “I never thought I’d be wearing a ‘Rest in Peace’ shirt of my son, with his name on it, or put ‘Long Live Ayden,' his picture or his name. I never expected it,” Travis Robinson said. The young parents didn’t have insurance, leaving them with large medical bills and funeral expenses. “Just help me and my baby. Help my family. He didn’t mean no harm. I just love him so much,” Wright said. If you are interested in donating to the family’s GoFundMe campaign, click here.
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  • Scientists at the University of St. Andrews taught three young gray seals to sing, literally. >> Read more trending news Seals, which generally bark, and other marine mammals are known for some of the sounds they make. Whales sing, dolphins click, penguins peep and walruses bellow. Researchers, though, were able to train the three young seals to bark out the notes to the opening bars of the theme from “Star Wars” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” The research is published in the journal Current Biology. It’s not just that teaching a seal to sing is an interesting project, St. Andrews scientists said they wanted to learn more about how seals communicate with each other, according to Smithsonian magazine. Knowing how seals communicate in the wild could become important in the future to conservation efforts.
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