96 lawyers urge ME senators to oppose Gorsuch nomination

Senate Supreme Court-2

Such a change in Senate rules - known as the "nuclear option" - would likely be retained in the future and thus make Supreme Court confirmations more susceptible to simple party-line votes instead of bipartisan support.

"Seeking assurances from the nominee on how he'll vote on particular legal questions undermines the very independence that we demand of the Supreme Court", Grassley said.

A filibuster of Gorsuch, whose background includes Harvard Law School, Oxford College, and a decade on the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, exposes the Senate as so mired in partisanship that it can no longer operate under the traditional rules. A principle relating to this situation arose in the U.S. Senate in 1992 when then-Sen.

Sen. John Boozman said through a spokesman: "I met with Judge Gorsuch last week". Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, would say when asked if she would vote for the change in rules. Since President Trump began his term, the conservative wing's popularity has plummeted.

In fact, a Senate rules change does appear to be Republicans' one route to put Gorsuch on the court.

With 52 Republican senators, eight votes from Democrats or the Senate's two independents would be needed to advance the nomination and prevent a filibuster.

The Democrats in Washington are still incensed over the way the Republican majority would not allow a vote on President Obama's nominee, Judge Merrick Garland.


When Democrats were in the majority, they removed the 60-vote threshold for lower-court nominees in 2013 when Republicans were blocking Obama picks to a critical federal court.

McConnell is an institutionalist who has made clear he does not favor invoking the nuclear option, but he has repeatedly said Gorsuch will be confirmed. "They did not afford Chief Judge Merrick Garland the courtesy of a hearing".

The nuclear option would be "damaging to the Senate, damaging to them and damaging to the country". He said Democrats had worked to try and find fault with him, but "that fault will not stick". They pointed to the possibility that the new justice would tip the balance on several key issues before the court.

Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch testified on Capitol Hill, March 21, in Washington during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. "He has left this committee and the American people with only unresolved concerns", Leahy said.

Debate over the 49-year-old appellate judge gets under way in the full Senate today, with Republicans and Democrats bitterly divided over the next steps.

Sen. Susan Collins of ME, who previously stopped short of saying how she would vote on the nuclear option, argued that both parties "will rue the day" that led to the likely rule change. Some of the more liberal justices are among the oldest on the court, so more court openings could pop up. "And if they can't have broad support, don't change the rule, change the nominee". "For him to accuse Democrats of the first partisan filibuster on the Supreme Court belies the facts, belies the history, belies the basic truth". Of course we realize a nominee selected this way would not completely agree with our views, but Judge Gorsuch is so far out of the mainstream that he isn't able to earn the votes to pass the Senate.

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