Three Senate Democrats have now said they support the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacant seat on the Supreme Court.
Gorsuch recently underwent Senate confirmation hearings in which he faced tough questions. If confirmed, Gorsuch would fill the spot left on the Court by conservative Justice Antonin Scalia who passed away in February 2016.
Gorsuch served on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Colorado and is well-respected among colleagues. Although many of President Trump’s decisions have proved controversial even within his own party, the nomination of Gorsuch for the Supreme Court has received unilateral support among Republicans, and now, even some Democrats.
Although some Democrats announced last week that they would attempt to filibuster Gorsuch’s confirmation, Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) have all said they will vote for Gorsuch to fill the vacant seat on the Court.
"After meeting with Judge Gorsuch, conducting a thorough review of his record, and closely following his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I believe that he is a qualified jurist who will base his decisions on his understanding of the law and is well-respected among his peers," Donnelly said in a statement, as reported by ABC News.
Donnelly added that he was disappointed in how Senate Republicans treated President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Merrick Garland last year, but he believes Gorsuch is qualified to serve on the Court.
"I was deeply disappointed by the way the most recent Supreme Court nominee, Judge Garland, was treated by the Senate, but as Senator, I can only vote on the nominee that comes to the Senate floor,” said Donnelly.
Unless Republicans use the so-called “nuclear option,” which involves changing Senate rules to allow a simple majority vote to be sufficient instead of the usual 60 votes, Republicans still need five more Democrats to vote for Gorsuch in order for his confirmation to be successful.
Photo: Judge Neil Gorsuch testifies during the third day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, March 22, 2017 in Washington. Gorsuch was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the vacancy left on the court by the February 2016 death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.
Photo courtesy: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Publication date: April 3, 2017