Democrats threaten delay on Supreme Court nominee

Author

30 March, 2017

Schumer in his speech said that Gorsuch "was unable to sufficiently convince me he'd be an independent check" on President Trump.

Graham said he hopes Republicans do not use the nuclear option to get Gorsuch's confirmation votes.

On Thursday, the committee heard about six hours of testimony from witnesses supporting and opposing Gorsuch, including representatives of the American Bar Association, the lawyers group that evaluates such nominees and gave Gorsuch its highest rating of "well qualified".

"I have concluded that I can not support Neil Gorsuch's nomination", the New York Democrat said. In 2013, in the face of Republican obstruction, then-Senate majority leader Harry Reid eliminated filibusters on lower court nominees while keeping it intact for Supreme Court nominees.

A Supreme Court seat has been open for more than 13 months, since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Schumer said if Gorsuch can not attract 60 votes, "the answer isn't to change the rules".

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Democrats are pursuing a number of strategies to slow down or stall Gorsuch. But his decision to support the filibuster of Gorsuch is significant. To confirm Gorsuch without the nuclear option, eight Democrats would have to vote in Gorsuch's favor if other Democrats attempted a filibuster.

"After careful deliberation, I have concluded that I can not support Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court", Mr Schumer said.

According to the Post, the Republicans have vowed to get Gorsuch confirmed even if it means changing the way justices are approved. "But I just don't think that's what a life in the law is about". That change would exempt Supreme Court nominees from a procedural vote known as cloture, which ends debate on a subject and requires 60 votes to pass.

In addition to seeking ammunition against Gorsuch, Lee said the political questions expose how Democrats seem to view the courts. But Democrats want him stopped because he is a conservative and, more specifically, because he appears to be pro-life. Graham said he simply would not tolerate Democrats denying President Trump, the victor of the 2016 election, the opportunity to put well-qualified judges on the Supreme Court.

When asked whether Trump's position had changed, Spicer said during his daily press briefing only that the President "has not talked to McConnell recently".

Hearings for a Supreme Court nominee usually dominate Congress, but that's not been the case over the four days of hearings.


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