The Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room in the Hart Office Building was packed today as the hearings began for Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court.

During the opening statements, Democrat and Republican Senators alike had the chance to make comments and voice their concerns over the nominee.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.), began her statement by saying that they were there under “unusual circumstances,” alluding to the fact that Obama appointee Merrick Garland never got a hearing. Sen. Feinstein wasn’t the only Democrat on the committee to bring up Garland’s nomination.

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Il.) used his time to take a jab at President Trump and his policies, and the importance of an independent judicial branch. “You’re going to have your hands full with this president,” Durbin said. Other hot-button topics that came up during the hearing included Russia’s alleged involvement in our elections, the National Rifle Association, and campaign finance laws.

When Senator Ben Sasse (R-Ne.) spoke, he highlighted the importance of the robe that the Supreme Court justices wear and what it symbolizes. Sasse emphasized that the position is more than just a garment and represents the rule of law. He noted that the bench it should not be based off of whatever opinion is popular at the time.

Cory Gardner, the Senator from Gorsuch’s home state, Colorado, praised the nominee as a faithful adherent to the Constitution and an originalist. Senator Gardner also stated that the Supreme Court is not a place for social or constitutional experimentation.

Gorsuch spoke at the end of the hearing. He stated that above all else (referring to political parties), we’re all Americans. He also highlighted the importance of striving for what is right under the rule of law when deciding on cases.

“The nation is watching, and I think that that is a really good thing,” Texas senator John Cornyn said as the hearings began, citing the significance of the position. If confirmed, Gorsuch will fill the vacant seat that belonged to Justice Antonin Scalia until his death last year.

Tomorrow begins the questioning portion of the Gorsuch hearings, where the nominee will get the chance to address any of the concerns the committee may have about him.