Senate Republicans voiced confidence Wednesday that they will have the votes to confirm President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, as Democrats appeared divided over how to handle the pick.
Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) in a floor speech indicated that he has serious concerns about Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
But Schumer stopped short of promising a filibuster against Gorsuch, saying instead that Trump’s nominee should meet a 60-vote threshold to get on the court.
“We Democrats will insist on a rigorous but fair process. There will be 60 votes for confirmation,” he said from the Senate floor. “There will be 60 votes for confirmation.”
Sen. Jeff Merkley (Ore.), who began the week promising a filibuster against any nominee from Trump, was on Wednesday the only Democratic senator explicitly voicing support for using procedural tools to stop Gorsuch, a judge on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals with a sterling academic and legal resume.
A handful of other Democrats, including Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), say they will oppose him. But no other Democrats have so far used Merkley’s language.
It’s possible that will change, but Democratic senators on Wednesday appeared to be in no hurry to make promises.
Other Democrats say they are keeping an open mind on Gorsuch, even liberals such as Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), who said he would support a hearing and vote on his nomination.
Ten Democrats representing states won by Trump last year are up for reelection in 2018 and will come under certain attack from Republicans for blocking Gorsuch on procedural grounds. Trump carried five of those states by double digits.Read More...
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