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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Neil Gorsuch took on controversial topics such as Roe v Wade, sex discrimination and gun rights in a marathon session before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He also said attacks on the judiciary by anyone (including President Trump) were "demoralizing".

Highlights from day two of his confirmation hearings:

  • On Roe v. Wade: "The holding of Roe v. Wade…is that a woman has a right to an abortion." He said if Trump had asked him to overturn Roe he "would've walked out," but said they did discuss the case.
  • On gay marriage: Gorsuch sidestepped, since "there's ongoing litigation" on the matter.
  • On asking women employees and not men about pregnancy plans: "It is highly inappropriate," but would not say it constitutes sex discrimination. Allegations that Gorsuch said women abuse maternity leave before quitting to raise their children led to this exchange:
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • On surveillance of Americans: He said he doesn't exactly agree that POTUS has the right to surveil Americans, despite having written a defense of Bush's NSA surveillance.
  • On whether the President can authorize torture: "Nobody is above the law, and that includes the President."
  • On physician assisted suicide: Gorsuch does not support it.
  • On gun rights: "It's not a matter of me agreeing or disagreeing, it's a matter of the law," said Gorsuch, indicating that he'd uphold the landmark Heller decision.
  • On campaign finance: Gorsuch cited Buckley v. Valeo, which says limits on campaign spending are unconstitutional.
  • On the Chevron Doctrine: He said it's up to the judicial branch to interpret the law, not government agencies.

Also of note:

  • Gorsuch noted that 99% of the time he has ruled in the majority, and is rarely reversed by SCOTUS: "My opinions have attracted the fewest number of dissents from my colleagues."
  • Al Franken, however, said Gorsuch's opinion in one case (TransAm Trucking v. Administrative Review Board) was absurd: "I know it when I see it…it makes me question your judgement."

Go deeper

Cuomo says words may have been "misinterpreted" following allegations of harassment

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a Feb. 22 news conference. Photo: Seth Wenig/pool/AF via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a lengthy statement on Sunday saying he " never inappropriately touched anybody" but acknowledged that "some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation," after two of his former aides accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Prior to Cuomo's statement, in which he adds that he "never inappropriately touched anybody" or meant to make anyone uncomfortable, the governor's office and the state attorney general went back and forth in a public disagreement about how to investigate the allegations.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."

Cedric Richmond: We won't wait on GOP for "insufficient" stimulus

Top Biden adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" the White House believes it has bipartisan support for a stimulus bill outside the Beltway.

  • "If our choice is to wait and go bipartisan with an insufficient package, we are not going to do that."

The big picture: The bill will likely undergo an overhaul in the Senate after House Democrats narrowly passed a stimulus bill this weekend, reports Axios' Kadia Goba.