Senate Judiciary Committee expected to approve Gorsuch today

Obama's third nominee, Merrick Garland, never got a hearing or vote from Senate Republicans, a fact that several Democrats cited in their statements about positions on Gorsuch's nomination.

Republicans could still invoke the nuclear option, requiring only a simple majority to confirm Gorsuch.

As the majority party, Republicans have the votes to approve Gorsuch in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, even if, as expected, all Democrats line up in opposition. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of South Dakota and Joe Donnelly of IN - have announced they plan cast their votes IN support of Mr. Gorsuch.

But Majority Leader McConnell, along with Judiciary Committee Republicans, aren't waiting for Coons or any other Democrat to be ready.

Gorsuch needs 60 votes, or a super majority to fill the seat on the high court left vacant after the February 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia. They were seen as Senate traditionalists who may have voted yes, at least for the preliminary vote, in order to avoid what's always been known as "the nuclear option". "Let me tell you what's going to happen: The judges are going to become more ideological because you don't have to reach across the aisle to get one vote any longer".

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen.

Most Democrats on the committee have already announced they oppose Gorsuch and will vote to filibuster him. Chris Coons said he would vote against the nominee. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, but ultimately vote against Gorsuch's nomination on the final vote. The Indiana Democrat announced his support on Sunday, April 2, 2017, for President Donald Trump's pick, calling Gorsuch "a qualified jurist who will base his decisions on his understanding of the law and is well-respected among his peers". Any senator can have a rationale to not to vote for a confirmation.

U.S Sen. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) reminded his Democratic colleagues last week that Gorsuch, now 49, enjoyed a unanimous vote in 2006 when he was approved for the 10 Circuit.

Sen. Chris Coons of DE became the 41st senator to announce opposition to cutting off debate at this afternoon's Judiciary Committee meeting to consider the nomination. Republicans have vowed to change Senate rules to put Neil Gorsuch on the court and score a much-needed win for their party.

If Gorsuch is released from the committee on Monday, he will be set for a confirmation vote this Friday.

Most Democrats are expected to oppose the 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". Chris Coons of DE was the 41st Democrat to announce a "no" vote on cloture, doing so during the Judiciary Committee meeting.

Should Republicans use the nuclear option in the case of Judge Neil Gorsuch?

  • Arturo Norris