McConnell: Full Senate vote on Gorsuch on April 7

Gorsuch explained during a confirmation hearing last week: "These days, we sometimes hear judges cynically described as politicians in robes, seeking to enforce their own politics rather than striving to apply the law impartially", he told the lawmakers. The standard for Senate confirmation was, and still should be, the nominee's legal aptitude to serve. Senate Republicans will nuke the rules of the Senate, completing the work that Harry Reid started, and allow the Supreme Court nomination to pass with a simple majority.

POLTICO reported late Tuesday afternoon that "the cagey Senate majority leader refused to say that he would do it via the "nuclear option" - a unilateral change in rules to kill the Senate's 60-vote threshold on Supreme Court nominees".

In a statement released Wednesday, the 2016 Democratic vice presidential candidate referenced contraception and abortion rights in announcing that he will vote against cloture and the final confirmation for Gorsuch. Joe Manchin, has confirmed he will not impede Gorsuch's nomination. In his best move so far as president, President Trump nominated Judge Gorsuch, a staunch conservative who, like Judge Garland, is a well respected jurist. Although the selection of a Supreme Court justice always has political overtones, Gorsuch seems to exist on the bench above the political fray.

Shaheen was quickly joined in her decision by fellow New Hampshire Democrat Maggie Hassan, who had been considered a possible swing vote on the nomination.

While serving on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge Gorsuch ruled against Alphonse Maddin, a truck driver from MI who was sacked for leaving his trailer on the side of the road after breaking down on a cold night and fearing he would freeze to death. Republicans, who hold the majority in the Senate, are intent on getting Trump's choice confirmed before Congress' two-week break in mid-April.

With Democrats - no doubt stung by Republican refusal to hold hearings a year ago on then-President Barack Obama's nominee to the court, Merrick Garland - requiring a 60-vote threshold, there is a possibility Republican leaders could force a rewrite of Senate rules and requiring only a majority vote in the 100-member body.

Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of DE, who also hasn't announced his decision, said Monday on MSNBC that he doesn't think Gorsuch will get the 60 votes he needs to end the filibuster. If Gorsuch can not pass that hurdle, it would be the first successful filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee since Abe Fortas in 1968.

Regardless of what plays out on the Senate floor, Alabama's Senior U.S. Senator, Richard Shelby, is ready to confirm Judge Gorsuch.

"I don't know how anyone can feel great about invoking the nuclear option", said Sen.

Schumer said the idea of Republicans changing Senate rules to confirm Gorsuch is "utter bunk".

A filibuster generally refers to extended debate that delays a vote on a pending matter, while cloture is a device to end debate.

Kessler concluded that Sanders and Democrats are simply misleading about their efforts to filibuster, something they always complained about when they GOP attempted to block votes when they were in the minority.

McConnell said several times he's "confident" that Gorsuch will be confirmed.

  • Salvatore Jensen