The Senate will vote on Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch sometime in early April and last week Democratic Minority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer uttered the “f” word…filibuster.
Senator Schumer urged all Democrats to take a stand against Donald Trump’s nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch and vote ‘no’. He’s the Heritage Foundation’s certified 100% approved conservative nominee (age 49 yrs), up for a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court. “He would be a fine successor to Scalia,” they say.
Sixty votes are required to bring the vote for Gorsuch out of committee and to the floor, which means Republicans will need eight Democratic votes to join their 52. If Democrats can stay together it will prevent the vote from getting to the floor. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has threatened — and has the Republican votes — to “go nuclear” and change Senate rules to eliminate the filibuster, thus working around Democrats filibuster block. That is quite a move for McConnell, who successfully stonewalled President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland. Democratic Minority Leader Schumer argues: “If the nominee can’t get 60 votes, you don’t change the rules, you change the candidate.”
The Hill.com’s partial list shows votes for 23 of the Democratic Senators (as of March 25th) and includes their brief explanations for their choices. Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse explained his vote ‘no’ was because: he was not convinced that Gorsuch wouldn’t “pick up where Justice Scalia and his troop left off,” by issuing rulings — such as on campaign finance — that benefit Republicans. There are — for now at least — no Democratic ‘Yes’ votes, 13 ‘No’ votes and 11 undecided votes on whether to confirm Gorsuch.Senator Sanders is listed as a ‘no’ vote for confirming. Bernie is an Independent (as we all know) but caucuses with Democrats so he is on the list. And as of Monday the 27th reports are that Senator Leahy will also vote ‘no’ to confirm: ” Philosophically, I’ve seen nothing that will bring me to vote for Gorsuch.” He did ad this: “I am not inclined to filibuster, even though I’m not inclined to vote for him.”
A handful of Democratic Senators from states that favored Trump last November are worried about their next election and are considered the weak link in Schumer’s vote strategy.
Vermont, not surprisingly, seems kinda blue on this vote. So, maybe the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee could, you know, offer those red-state Dems a little help come the next election if they agree to vote with their party?