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U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM)

U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings have been called a “kabuki dance,” a “charade” and a “mess.” They are, regardless of modern-day descriptors, the Washington gate that leads to a lifetime seat on the nation’s highest court. Neil Gorsuch on Monday will take his turn.

RelatedHere’s What to Expect at Gorsuch Confirmation Hearing

In the last 30 years, the public has witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly—to borrow the title from that epic spaghetti Western film—as members of the Senate Judiciary Committee picked apart records for clues about how a nominee might rule on the high court.

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