Supreme Court nominee makes 1st congressional appearance

Judge Neil Gorsuch hailed Justice Antonin Scalia and described the late Supreme Court justice as a mentor in his first day of hearings before the U.S. Senate.
2:21 | 03/21/17

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Transcript for Supreme Court nominee makes 1st congressional appearance
Another high-stakes hearing under way on capitol hill for president trump's supreme court nominee Neal Gorsuch who is bracing for tough questioning this morning. ABC's Terry Moran covers the supreme court and is there right now. Good morning, Terry good morning good morning. Well, so far it is a bright spot in some pretty dark times for president trump. He was bragging on his nominee last night in Kentucky but today Democrats are vowing to grill Neal Gorsuch on everything from what they say is his corporate bias from the bench to the president's travel ban to the possibility one of them raised yesterday that he might have to rule on a criminal case involving the president and Russia. Judge Gorsuch in his first congressional appearance was both personal and polished. I will do all my powers permit to be a faithful servant of this great nation. Reporter: Also paying tribute to his wife. I could not even attempt it do this without Louise. I love you so much. But the pleasantries may be over. Today he'll answer questions from Democrats still fuming at GOP obstruction of president Obama's nominee. -- Was never grounded in principle or precedent. Reporter: And then there are trump's conservative campaign promises. President trump repeatedly promised that his judicial nominees would be pro-life and, quote, automatically end quote overturn roe V. Wade. Reporter: Gorsuch didn't go there but hailed his predecessor staunch conservative justice Antonin Scalia who he described as a mentor. It was another recent loss that brought the supreme court nominee to tears. When we recently lost my uncle jack, a hero of mine and a lifelong episcopal priest he gave the benediction when I took an oath as a judge 11 years ago. I confess I was hoping he might offer a similar prayer soon. As it is, I know he is smiling. Reporter: Strong emotion there, mostly smooth sailing for Neal Gorsuch. But there's no question that he will get grilled today and democratic activists some of them are now calling for this nomination hearing to be halted until the FBI and congress get to the bottom of what happened if anything between Russia and the trump campaign. Robin. All right, Terry, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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