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Moderator Harvey Sepler (left) listens to former federal appellate judge Timothy Lewis during a panel discussion at the University of Miami School of Law.Moderator Harvey Sepler (left) listens to former federal appellate judge Timothy Lewis during a panel discussion at the University of Miami School of Law. (Photo: Celia Ampel/ALM)

The political maneuvering leading up to this week’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court could set a precedent — possibly a dangerous one, according to legal experts versed in the process.

“We’re seeing norms, informal practices, being shaped on how the vetting process should be handled in the future,” University of North Carolina constitutional law professor Michael Gerhardt said during a panel discussion Wednesday about Supreme Court nominations and confirmations.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday nominated Gorsuch to fill a seat that has been vacant for a year following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Republicans successfully ran out the clock on President Barack Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, who never received a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

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