Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s choice for Supreme Court judge, seems poised to win approval from Congress.
Besides all the Republican senators, three Democratic senators have promised to vote for Gorsuch: Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, and there are 37 Democratic opponents.
While Donnelly declared his support for Gorsuch, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was going head to head with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on this highly partisan issue. Republican Senators are determined to confirm Gorsuch this week, as early as Tuesday, even threatening to change the Senate rules to kill a filibuster for Supreme Court nominees on Friday.
Later Senator Jon Tester of Montana said he is planning on voting against the nominee’s and in support of a filibuster.
“I cannot support a nominee who refuses to answer important questions,” Tester said.
Donnelly expressed sympathy with the frustration of Democrats over last year’s Republican obstruction of President Obama’s nominee for Supreme Court Justice Merrick Garland, but he said that frustration should not get in the way of confirming Gorsuch.
“I was deeply disappointed by the way the most recent Supreme Court nominee, Judge Garland, was treated by the Senate,” Donnelly said, “but as senator, I can only vote on the nominee that comes to the Senate floor.”
Donnelly also said he is in favor of the 60-vote requirement for Supreme Court nominees, although he is against, and will not vote for, a Democratic filibuster.