Colorado senator won't try to block Gorsuch vote

"Unfortunately, based on Judge Gorsuch's record at the Department of Justice, his tenure on the bench, his appearance before the Senate, and his written questions for the record, I can not support this nomination", Feinstein said.

Under current rules, Supreme Court nominees need at least 60 votes to end debate and hold a vote on their confirmation.

McConnell has vowed Gorsuch will be confirmed by this Friday. Leahy asked. He noted that he was planning to vote his "conscience" in joining the opposition to Gorsuch.

The filibuster empowers the minority party in the 100-member Senate by requiring a 60-vote threshold for approval instead of a 51-vote simple majority. While the nuclear option will not apply to all legislation - sweeping reform of the health insurance industry or the tax code, for example, would still need 60 votes to end debate in the Senate - it will make make such compromise that much more hard to achieve.

Democrats also are still fuming the Republicans refused to act on the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland, who former President Barack Obama picked more than a year ago for this same vacancy. In 2013, Democrats were in the majority and upset about appellate court nominees being blocked by Republicans.

The filibuster still applies to legislation and Supreme Court nominees, meaning Justices and bills now need 61 votes for Senate approval, instead of a simple 51-vote majority. Dianne Feinstein of California, hasn't said what she will do although she's talked about her deep concerns with some of his decisions on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, where he serves now. Sen.

Others demanded Gorsuch's opinion on landmark abortion rights case Roe v. Wade.

"The Senate's traditions are going to change over this man".

Feinstein is the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is voting Monday on Gorsuch's nomination.

Gorsuch will be confirmed "and he should be", the No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, said during Monday's debate.

"He's a mainstream judge who's earned the universal respect of his colleagues on the bench and in the bar", Grassley said.

A Senate panel is opening a weeklong partisan showdown over President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee with Democrats steadily amassing the votes to block Neil Gorsuch and force Republicans to unilaterally change long-standing rules to confirm him.

So far, 36 Democrats and one independent have announced they will vote to block the nomination on a procedural cloture vote - a parliamentary step to advance a legislative issue - and oppose the choice. Sen.

But at that point, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would be expected to change the rules that govern the Senate through a series of procedural votes. Jon Tester, D-Mont., who faces a tough re-election in a state Trump won handily, announced his opposition on Sunday.

  • Zachary Reyes