Toomey says he'd back Senate rule change to confirm Gorsuch

Tom Williams

At his Friday appearance at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference, Toomey also said Democrats have never said Judge Neil Gorsuch ignored or misapplied the law in cases before him.

The key to how Gorsuch's confirmation unfolds from here comes down to whether Republicans can peel off eight Democrats to break the filibuster led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY. If the Gorsuch nomination fails by reason of a Democratic filibuster, so be it. Republicans then have a persuasive issue for the 2018 elections, with the aim of gaining no less than a 60-seat Senate majority in January 2019.

But she's also among 10 Democrats in the Senate who hail from states where voters favored now-President Donald Trump; he carried Missouri by nearly 19 percentage points.

Democratic Senators Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Manchin have already indicated their intention to support Gorsuch.

That was a reference to Republican threats to respond to a Democratic filibuster by changing Senate rules and extending the so-called "nuclear option" to Supreme Court nominees, which would essentially allow the Senate to approve a nominee with 51 votes.

"After considering his record, watching his testimony in front of the Judiciary Committee and meeting with him twice, I will vote to confirm him to be the ninth justice on the Supreme Court", Manchin said in a statement. Montana Public Radio asked Tester how he'll vote on Gorsuch earlier this week.


Ayotte for the past several months has been shepherding President Donald Trump's nominee through the confirmation process. But Sen. John McCain is working to broker a rather suspect deal that would preserve the minority party's ability to block Supreme Court nominees-just not this time around. The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee contended that McCaskill "sold out Missouri voters" by opposing Gorsuch. But there are three important things to be noted here: The first is that Gorusch is an extremely well qualified nominee; one can differ with his judicial philosophy, but one can hardly accuse him of being anything other than a scrupulously honest and unusually intelligent judge.

The Senator called it a "really hard decision" and plans on voting no on both the procedural vote and his confirmation. Senate Republicans are hoping to vote on April 7 to confirm the conservative appeals court judge nominated by the Republican president in January.

There could be a major confrontation next week over Senate rules. By one count, there were 13 Democrats, including McCaskill, entering Friday who were undecided.

She said the nomination of Gorsuch goes against the grain of Trump's promise to help working-class Americans because he is "a judge who can't even see them".

And yet we've got two Democrats that have managed to hold onto their office by leering as far right as they can while still under the banner of blue.

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