Casey: I'm Voting Against Gorsuch for Supreme Court

He has consistently sidestepped Democratic efforts throughout the hearing process to reveal how he would vote on specific cases, which follows a long-standing tradition for Supreme Court nominees.

Still, majority Republicans are expected to ensure that he reaches the bench, perhaps before the middle of April. Robert Casey Jr. said he would oppose the nomination.

In short, the Democrats have few cards to play, and several Democratic senators and their aides say that Schumer's filibuster announcement was an attempt to strengthen his hand in negotiations with McConnell.

Schumer's condemnation of Gorsuch for having views that are compatible with the Federalist Society indicate that he, himself, has very opposite views. "I urge my colleagues to do the same", Schumer said. The solution? A filibuster, which essentially presses pause in the Senate.

Casey had already publicly voiced reservations about Gorsuch, who's been tapped to fill the vacancy created by the death of the late Antonin Scalia.

"Judge Gorsuch's record indicates that he would only exacerbate this problem and further stack the deck against ordinary workers and families", Casey said.

In addition to Schumer, Sens. Casey said he had "serious concerns about Judge Gorsuch's rigid and restrictive judicial philosophy, manifest in a number of opinions he has written on the 10th Circuit".

Sen. Dick Durbin, Democrat of IL, was among those frustrated by Gorsuch's response to this particular matter. "If this nominee can not earn 60 votes, a bar met by each of President Obama's nominees, and President Bush's last two nominees, the answer isn't to change the rules - it's to change the nominee", Schumer concluded.

Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, pressed Gorsuch regarding President Trump's travel ban, but Gorsuch would not budge. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has said he is open to voting for him.

Republicans hold a 52-48 majority in the 100-member Senate, leaving Democrats with an uphill battle to prevent Gorsuch's confirmation.

Senate rules now require 60 votes for Gorsuch's nomination to be approved. "It's to change the nominee".

In 2013, Democrats angered by GOP resistance to Obama's nominees changed the chamber's rules so that executive branch nominees and picks to serve on lower federal courts could be confirmed with simple majority votes.

Casey released a lengthy statement detailing his decision, which he said came after meeting with Gorsuch, thoroughly reviewing his judicial record and listening to hours of his testimony before the Senate.

Among recent Supreme Court nominees the 60-vote threshold has not caused a problem. The Republican push to dismantle Obama's Affordable Care Act and the controversy surrounding the investigation into contact between Trump associates and Russian Federation overshadowed the hearings. Most recently, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll last month found 32 percent supporting Gorsuch, while 20 percent were opposed and almost half said they don't know enough or have no opinion (48 percent).

The Supreme Court itself threw one surprise Gorsuch's way when it ruled unanimously Wednesday in a case involving learning-disabled students, overturning a standard for special education that Gorsuch had endorsed in an earlier case on the same topic.

The American Bar Association's Nancy Scott Degan says the committee evaluating Supreme Court nominees doesn't give a well-qualified rating lightly.

The highest ranking Democrat in the United States Senate is on Team Spine. Some Democrats have questioned whether Gorsuch so conservative that is not within the judicial mainstream.

Republicans have vowed Gorsuch will be confirmed even if it means overhauling the way justices have always been approved.

But Jameel Jaffer, head of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, said Gorsuch volunteered for the duty. "I was devastated", Perkins said of Gorsuch's ruling. For instance, remember Judge Merrick Garland's nomination to the Supreme Court?

  • Larry Hoffman