More Democratic senators voice opposition to Trump's Supreme Court pick

Senate Holds Confirmation Hearing For Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch

McCaskill's statement on Friday stressed Gorsuch's opinions show he "always puts the little guy under the boot of corporations".

Heitkamp said she made a decision to back Gorsuch despite lingering frustration with Senate Republicans for refusing to vote a year ago on Judge Merrick Garland, former President Barack Obama's nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Antonin Scalia's death in early 2016.

McCaskill and other Democrats have pointed out that while Gorsuch's confirmation won't change the ideological balance of a court that will be likely to split 5-4 on important cases, that could be what happens next as liberal justices age along with Justice Anthony Kennedy, 80, who often acts as a swing vote. Many consider Mr. Gorsuch qualified, but the memory of Republicans' refusal to consider Merrick Garland's nomination still smarts, pushing Democrats to say they intend to resort to a procedural tactic that Republicans threaten will force them to re-write the legislative playbook. And she cited his support for the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which allows corporations and unions to contribute unlimited amounts of money to political parties and candidates. But, like I said, that may be just a coincidence. He promised he would drain the swamp of the special interests, the lobbyists, and politicians who have overlooked the working people in this country. Shaheen said she could not vote for Gorsuch primarily because he "did not provide any assurances" that he would oppose overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

McCaskill, a Democrat, is running for re-election in 2018 in a state Trump won by 19 percentage points.

Missouri voted overwhelmingly for Trump in the presidential election.


Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Republicans are determined to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch within the week. Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer would need at least eight of them to stick with him for a successful filibuster, since 33 Democrats - including both IL senators - have said they'd support a filibuster. As Senator Charles Grassley said, "If you'd filibuster Judge Gorsuch, it's obvious you'd filibuster anybody". While Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats complained that he remained bland and noncommittal during his confirmation hearings, they failed to unsettle him during some 21 hours of testimony that stretched over two days, or in the follow-up written questions that, when answered, spanned an additional 76 pages.

There could be a major confrontation next week over Senate rules.

As of Thursday, 33 of the 48 Democrats in the 100-seat Senate had announced opposition to Gorsuch, the Colorado-based federal appellate judge nominated by Trump in January for a lifetime post on the Supreme Court. Michael Bennet of Colorado, Jon Tester of Montana and Joe Donnelly of IN, and are also hoping for support from Sen. To date, Senators Joe Manchin (W. Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) are the only Democrats who have indicated they would support Gorsuch, according to The Hill's Whip List.

Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill said she remains unsure how to vote.

She warned that if Republicans ax the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, it would allow Trump to appoint an extreme conservative to fill a future vacancy.

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