Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) said from the senate floor that he intends to block the confirmation of President Trump’s Supreme Court pick. From the Washington Post:
In a Senate floor speech, Schumer said that Gorsuch “was unable to sufficiently convince me that he’d be an independent check” on Trump. He said later that the judge is “not a neutral legal mind but someone with a deep-seated conservative ideology. He was groomed by the Federalist Society and has shown not one inch of difference between his views and theirs.”
The Federalist Society, a conservative legal group, was one of two organizations that provided a list of names to Trump to consider for his Supreme Court nomination.
In his speech, Schumer echoed the frustrations of Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee who have struggled to extract answers from Gorsuch this week on specific legal issues or past Supreme Court cases.
Gorsuch “declined to answer question after question after question with any substance. . . . All we have to judge the judge on is his record,” Schumer said.
“After careful deliberation I have concluded that I cannot support Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court,” Mr. Schumer said, announcing his filibuster on the Senate floor.
The speech amounted to a challenge to Republicans, who may now have to decide whether to trigger the “nuclear option” and change the chamber’s rules to curtail the power of the filibuster.
Mr. Schumer, who four years ago himself voted to trigger the nuclear option on all other nominees, told Republicans not to follow his lead.
“The answer isn’t to change the rules, it’s to change the nominee,” the New York Democrat said Thursday.
While Gorsuch will likely make it out just fine from the 20-member Senate Judiciary Committee on April 3, he might have trouble getting the supermajority vote of the full senate. Ordinarily, it only takes a simple majority vote in the senate to confirm Supreme Court nominees. But it’s going to take 60 votes in order to stop the filibuster that the Democrats are threatening.
The Republicans could try the ‘nuclear option’ to make it so that the Democrats’ filibuster is easily stopped with a simple majority – and they need only a simple majority to make that rule change happen – but while they have a majority at 52 members, it’s a slim majority, and there may be some who won’t agree to the rule change.
As of now, the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn’t indicated that he’s considering the nuclear option and has only expressed optimism that Gorsuch will be confirmed.
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