Grassley discusses courtroom cameras with Supreme Court nominee

Cheryl Sanders
March 24, 2017

Republicans are looking to get Gorsuch a full vote by April 3, but that date could come and go if Democrats in the Senate fully entrench themselves in this filibuster. Such a deal would give Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer a preemptive veto over the next Supreme Court nominee.

Just a few weeks ago, Democrats - including Schumer - were lamenting the fact that Reid had jettisoned the filibuster now that Republicans controlled the Senate and the White House.

Top Senate Republicans said they would do what they needed to do to get Gorsuch through to the bench.

If Gorsuch is confirmed, he would tip the United States high court's balance toward conservatives, at a time when progressives are anxious over hot-button issues such as abortion, same-sex marriage and the right to bear arms. His announcement on the Senate floor today sets up a possible showdown with Republican leaders.

Judge Gorsuch's qualifications have not been called into question at his hearing, but Democrats have been frustrated at his refusal to signal any stance on such emotive areas as gun control, abortion and employee rights.

Democrats familiar with the effort requested anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter that divides the caucus. So Schumer and some of his colleagues, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, are now vowing to block Gorsuch, in the wake of the FBI's Monday confirmation that the Trump campaign is under investigation for possible ties to Russian Federation. If they do, Republicans are threatening to employ the so-called "nuclear option", which would change Senate rules so that justices can be approved by a simple majority rather than 60 votes under current rules. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), a member of the Gang of 14.

Thursday marks the fourth and final day of confirmation hearings for Gorsuch.

A growing number of Senate Democrats want to pause confirmation hearings for Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch while the Federal Bureau of Investigation probes alleged coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation to interfere with the 2016 election. Chuck Grassley cautioned Democrats do so at their own political peril.

Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey has praised Gorsuch in the past.

But all this may be avoided anyway.

Senate Democrats opposed to Gorsuch aren't making their case now based on a tit-for-tat around Garland but on the merits of his record.

The committee will vote, probably next week, on the nomination.

Media captionSupreme Court fight: What's the "nuclear option'"?

"We're not hearing from enough of the Democratic senators that they will fight this nomination with everything they have". Now they have to decide how to put the best face on it.

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