Joe Manchin Becomes First Democrat To Say He'll Vote For Neil Gorsuch

The vacancy on the court has lasted 13 months since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last February.

Senate Republicans are scrambling to break up a mounting threat from Democrats to filibuster next week's vote on Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court.

Senate Democrats have forced a delay in a committee vote on President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, who remains on track for confirmation with solid Republican backing.

The Virginia Democrat and vice presidential running mate past year for Hillary Clinton cited Gorsuch's opinion that employers have the right to deny government-mandated contraception coverage for their workers in explaining his opposition.

Sixty senators would have to vote in favor of confirming Gorsuch's nomination. While it only takes a majority vote of the body to confirm a nominee, it takes 60 votes to end debate on the process and move the nomination forward.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, who has yet to say whether he'll join Democrats in the filibuster, would not discuss the content of the conversations but appeared to confirm their existence to reporters.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on April 3.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Schumer says McConnell "can prove he cares about the Senate by not changing the rules".

The Republican-controlled Senate is expected to vote on the Gorsuch nomination next week.

Donnelly is also being hit by advertising from outside groups supporting Gorsuch. And, with a large number of Democratic senators facing re-election in 2018 in states that Trump carried in 2016, Sen. Under current Senate rules, that would take 60 votes.

If that happens, Senate Republican leaders could decide to change the chamber's rules so that Supreme Court picks only need a simple majority, or 51 votes, to be confirmed. Schumer pointed to the treatment previous year of Merrick Garland, Obama's Supreme Court nominee, who never even got a hearing as McConnell led a Republican blockade. Harry Reid of Nevada and upset about Republicans blocking President Barack Obama's nominees to a powerful appellate court. "So I am very comfortable voting against him, but I'm very uncomfortable being part of a strategy that's going to open up the Supreme Court to a complete change". "I don't think that's accurate, and that's why I've made a decision to oppose him". "Then we're not talking about Scalia for Scalia, which is what Gorsuch is, we're talking about Scalia for somebody on the court who shares our values".

  • Salvatore Jensen