Judiciary Committee Poised To Vote On Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch

However, GOP leaders are considering changing the rule to require only a 51-vote majority to end the debate or a Democratic filibuster.

The U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, has picked up more support from the Democrats after the third senator from the minority party announced his support. "If [Republicans] think they're going to stonewall the filling of that vacancy. then a Democratic Senate majority will say, 'We're not going to let you thwart the law.' We will change the Senate rules to uphold the law". But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has indicated the nuclear option shouldn't be Republicans' response.

"Neither Republicans nor Democrats are blameless for where things stand in our politics and on this nomination", Bennet said.

There has never been a successful filibuster of a nominee for associate justice in the history of the republic - and the idea that Gorsuch should be the first is patently absurd.

The Senate is due to vote on Gorsuch this Friday, before lawmakers leave Washington for a two-week recess. Warner says Gorsuch does not possess a judicial philosophy that will serve the American public well.

McConnell defensively replied, "Look, we litigated that past year".

So far only three Democratic senators - Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Joe Donnelly of IN - have said they will vote to end debate and support Gorsuch.

A spokesman also said that she will support a Democratic filibuster.

An up or down vote is expected Friday in hopes of completing the confirmation process before Congress takes its two-week April recess.

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

"I will oppose efforts to filibuster the nomination, and strongly encourage my colleagues not to use the nuclear option", he said in a statement.

Manchin agreed, telling NPR that the only reason he was voting for Gorsuch was to protect the longtime parliamentary rules-and the independence-of the Senate.

The Republican-led Judiciary panel was expected to back Gorsuch and send his nomination to the full Senate, most likely on a near-party line vote.

Judge Neil Gorsuch faces a key test this week that could put him on the Supreme Court bench or, in an unlikely scenario, force President Donald Trump to withdraw his nomination.

Tester, who is up for a third term in 2018 in a state won overwhelmingly by Donald Trump in 2016, added, "These are not Montana values, which is why I can not support this nomination".

The committee, made up of 11 Republicans and just nine Democrats, is expected to easily advance Gorsuch, now a judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, to the next phase of his confirmation.

As Republicans are quick to point out, no Supreme Court nominee has actually been kept off the court by a filibuster.

  • Salvatore Jensen