First two Democrats back Trump's Supreme Court pick


Claire McCaskill announced Friday that she will join Democrats' attempted filibuster of Judge Neil Gorsuch, making it nearly certain that Republicans will have to trigger the "nuclear option" to confirm President Trump's first Supreme Court nominee. Claire McCaskill, who says she is torn over how to vote, highlighted the dilemma for Democratic senators running next year in states that Trump won in last November's presidential election.

Two Democrats, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, have announced support for Gorsuch.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has been the loudest voice opposing Gorsuch, threatening that there will be bad consequences if the GOP changes Senate rules, as the Democrats did under Harry Reid several years ago for other nominees, and allow for a simple majority to end debate and move to an up-or-down vote.

Heitkamp's statement also said her support of Gorsuch doesn't diminish how disturbed she was that Republicans blocked President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland.

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Congress is never a rubber stamp for any president, even when the president's party controls both the House and the Senate. But the party remains riven into factions. "But that's the president", said McCain who sometimes is at odds with Trump.

"I am not confident that Judge Gorsuch understands how his decisions will impact workers, immigrants, women's health and economic security, disabled Americans, and the everyday Nevadans that I am here fighting for", she said.

U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) remains just one of a handful of U.S. Senators still on the sidelines regarding the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

In a statement, Gorusch's spokesman, Ron Bonjean, told the Guardian: "Judge Gorsuch has met with almost 80 Senators".

The Judicial Crisis Network sees that stance as an opportunity. Although most Senate Democrats have announced opposition, Blumenthal has held off because of his position as one of Gorsuch's cross-examiners during Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings. "They're not going to let us do that too long before they move it to 51 votes", she said.

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Blumenthal, a Senate Judiciary Committee member who questioned Gorsuch on judicial independence and other topics in last week's hearings, complained that the judge didn't give straightforward responses. Getting to 60 votes would require six more Democrats to back Gorsuch. Manchin said in a statement.

Invoking the nuclear option would change Senate rules because it lowers the threshold for breaking a filibuster from 60 votes to a simple majority. The seven-figure commitment is part of a $10 million campaign the group rolled out in January to support Gorsuch's confirmation. Manchin said while he opposes the use of a filibuster, he also opposes the nuclear option at this point. "Democrats who refuse to defend the Supreme Court from Donald Trump's racist, fascist agenda should not receive support for their re-election", CREDO told supporters on its website.

The emotional ad shows a woman pawning her wedding ring and a man selling his truck to pay for their little girl's hospital care, and blames it on the Republican plan.

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