Friday, 20 October, 2017

Democratic Supreme Court opposition grows; Schumer warns GOP

Craig Ferguson | 01 April, 2017, 01:48

Sen. Tom Carper has joined a group of 30 Democratic senators who are opposing Neil Gorsuch's nomination until Republicans give President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, a full consideration.

"Gorsuch will be confirmed", McConnell said this week, all but guaranteeing Republicans would change the rules to seat Gorsuch on the highest court in the nation if enough Democrats oppose Trump's nominee.

Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced they would support Gorsuch's nomination and vote in favor of the judge.

That was a reference to Republican threats to respond to a Democratic filibuster by changing Senate rules and extending the so-called "nuclear option" to Supreme Court nominees, which would essentially allow the Senate to approve a nominee with 51 votes. With a 52-seat majority, Republicans need eight Democrats to vote with them to break the 60-vote threshold to move forward. Of those, 35 have said they would back an effort to block a confirmation vote via a procedural hurdle called a filibuster.

If the filibuster is beaten, the confirmation vote itself would require a simple majority.

While even Democrat stalwarts like Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) have praised Gorsuch, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has vowed to filibuster his nomination.

The network is also planning to run ads targeting four Democratic senators: Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Jon Tester of Montana, and Michael Bennet of Colorado.

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Judge Neil Gorsuch, with his wife, Louise, and President Donald Trump, addresses the media after being nominated to the Supreme Court, in the East Room of the White House on Tuesday evening.

After the recording was released, McCaskill confirmed the recording to reporters in the Capitol, saying her words speak for themselves.

"He has a record as a balanced, meticulous and well-respect jurist who understands the rule of law", Heitkamp said in a statement. Manchin went as far as to say he could see no reason not to confirm the man, despite his far-right beliefs and court history of siding with corporations and against consumers. But if one of the more liberal justices dies or retires, Trump's next pick could fundamentally alter the balance of the court.

"Judge Gorsuch will bring impeccable legal qualifications and western commonsense to the U.S. Supreme Court", Daines said in a statement to the press.

Her "no" vote shrinks the pool of Democrats who have undecided or unclear positions on Gorsuch to nine.

Many progressives and Democrats were encouraged to hear that Democrats planned to filibuster the SCOTUS nominee, foremost because of the current mess that is the Trump administration.


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