Inside the final conservative push to confirm Gorsuch

McConnell told Perino Tuesday night that Senate Democrats appear to be "pretty locked in" on their promise to filibuster Gorsuch.

The procedural hurdle backed by Democrats, called a filibuster, requires a super-majority of 60 votes in the 100-seat Senate to allow a confirmation vote.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) locked in Thursday as the day to begin voting on Judge Neil Gorsuch while promising he has the votes to ram through a change in longstanding Senate rules to put him on the bench. Should enough of them vote to get to the 60-vote majority now required for a Supreme Court nominee, or should they do what their liberal base is demanding and vote "no", prompting Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), to change Senate rules to allow Gorsuch to be confirmed by a simple majority? Some were already predicting that they would end up eliminating the 60-vote requirement for legislation, but McConnell committed Tuesday that would not happen under his watch. The vote came as Democrats confirmed they had the requisite 41 votes to block Gorsuch - nominated by Trump to fill the vacancy left by the death of Antonin Scalia previous year - from advancing further.

He said both sides have spiraled into attacks, and suggested the filibuster was acceptable retaliation for the GOP's treatment of Mr. Obama's nominee a year ago, Judge Merrick Garland, whom Republicans denied a hearing, much less a vote.

"We all understand that's what makes the Senate the Senate", he told reporters.

Some Senate Republicans suddenly sound less than certain that they'll be able to ram through President Trump's Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch on Tuesday.

"There are a couple of Democrats who have supported him, and there's obviously a bipartisan majority that supports this guy", Portman says. Asked if he has the votes to do that, given misgivings voiced by many Republicans, McConnell answered simply "yes".

Trump in January nominated Gorsuch, a conservative appeals court judge from Colorado.

Had Garland been confirmed, the court would have tilted to the left for the first time in decades.

Conservative groups have sought to mount pressure on other vulnerable Democrats by pouring as much as six figures into advertising across states that are up for grabs in the 2018 midterm elections.

Republicans have said Gorsuch is well qualified for the job and is one of the most distinguished federal judges on the bench.

"First, he has instinctively favored corporate interests over average Americans", Schumer said. I have spoken on the Senate floor twice in recent weeks to try to convince Democrats not to filibuster Judge Gorsuch's nomination because it will be damaging to the Senate and to the country. "Second, he hasn't shown a scintilla of independence from President Trump". Those don't sound like good reasons to filibuster a nominee.

The court's ideological shift to the right could prove pivotal on a range of issues including presidential powers, abortion, the death penalty, political spending and environmental regulation, as well as transgender, gun and religious rights.

  • Salvatore Jensen