U.S. Politics

The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee

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© Greg Nash


Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is urging Democrats to join him in opposing Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

The question is whether Schumer’s entire caucus will follow him in a filibuster of the nomination, which would force Republicans to win 60 votes for his nomination.

Republicans have warned they will go “nuclear” and change the Senate’s rules to force through the Gorsuch nomination if Democrats block a nominee they say is fully qualified for the court.Democrats, emboldened by opposition to Trump on the left, are still stinging over the GOP blockade against President Obama’s nominee to the court, Merrick Garland.

GOP leaders are eyeing a final confirmation vote in early April.

Here’s where Democrats stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee:

Last updated at 1:08 p.m. March 25. 

Yes (0)

No (13)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) 

Whitehouse said he was not convinced that Gorsuch wouldn’t “pick up where Justice Scalia and his troop left off,” by issuing rulings — such as on campaign finance — that benefit Republicans.

“Judge Gorsuch needed to convince me he would not join the posse that has relentlessly stretched the law to benefit Republican partisans and corporations at the expense of everyone else.  He did not.  He will not get my vote,” he said in a March 24 statement.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.)

Baldwin is up for re-election in 2018 in a pro-Trump state but she will vote against his Supreme Court pick.

“President Trump needs to earn 60 votes in the Senate, but I am not one of them,” Baldwin said, according to ThinkProgress, a liberal blog.

She said she has “concerns about this nominee’s deeply troubling record.”

Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio)

“The people of Ohio deserve Supreme Court Justices who will defend the rights of working families over Wall Street and corporate special interests — and Judge Gorsuch’s record doesn’t pass that test,” Brown said in a statement.

Sen. Bob Casey (Pa.)

“I don’t believe that Judge Gorsuch, his judicial approach, would ensure fairness for workers and families in Pennsylvania … and I will not support his nomination.”

Casey is up for reelection in 2018 in a state President Trump won.

Sen. Ed Markey (Mass.)

“Judge Gorsuch has sided with corporations over the environment, the disabled, and consumers. We need a Supreme Court justice who will stand up for the rights of all Americans against big corporate interests, and Judge Neil Gorsuch’s record is proof that he not that justice.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (Ore.)

“This is a stolen seat being filled by an illegitimate and extreme nominee, and I will do everything in my power to stand up against this assault on the Court.”

Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.)

“I have concluded that his anti-worker record, his troubling history working on torture policy for the Bush administration, and his hostility toward upholding disability rights make me unable to support his nomination to the Supreme Court.”

Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.)

“If Judge Gorsuch is confirmed to the Supreme Court, I worry he would try to circumscribe voting rights and consumer protections and impose new constraints on civil liberties and women’s health care and roll back clean air laws.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

“After careful consideration of Judge Gorsuch’s record, I have concluded that I will not vote to confirm him to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court.

“I will not support Republican efforts to change the rules to choke off debate and ram the nomination through the Senate.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.)

“He will have to earn 60 votes for confirmation. My vote will be no, and I urge my colleagues to do the same.”

Sen. Tom Udall (N.M.)

Udall, who recently floated the idea of confirming Gorsuch and President Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, simultaneously, has come out against confirming Gorsuch alone.

“He failed to answer questions that are critical for me — his position on the rights of working mothers, whether women can choose their own health care decisions, LGBTQ rights, and dark money in our elections,” Udall told the Albuquerque Journal

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.)

“I’ve strongly opposed the Gorsuch nomination. Giant companies don’t need another Supreme Court justice to tilt the law in their favor.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.)

“I will vote no on his nomination and I will vote to sustain a filibuster.”


Undecided (11)

Sen. Michael Bennet (Colo.)

Bennet was criticized by the liberal group CREDO Action after praising fellow Coloradan Gorsuch’s integrity and intellect while introducing the nominee to the Judiciary Committee on March 20.

Asked Thursday if he would vote for Gorsuch, Bennet said, “I’m thinking about it.”

Sen. Joe Donnelly (Ind.)

Facing re-election next year in a state President Trump won by 19 points, Donnelly is considered a prime candidate to vote for Gorsuch. He has yet to announce his position.

Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.)

A spokesman says, “He has not announced his position yet.”

Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.M.)

Heinrich told The Hill Thursday that he remains undecided.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.)

One of the most centrist members of the Democratic caucus, Heitkamp met with Trump after the election to discuss areas of common ground. She plans to review footage of the confirmation hearing before announcing her vote on Gorsuch

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine)

King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, earlier this month praised Gorsuch’s record on the 10thCircuit Court of Appeals as “exceedingly independent” but said Thursday he hasn’t made up his mind yet.

Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.)

Manchin said on March 23 that he’s setting up a second meeting with Gorsuch and will make a decision after discussing follow-up questions with the nominee.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.)

McCaskill has steadfastly refused to comment on the nominee, a strategy she stuck to Thursday after he finished testifying before the Judiciary panel.

“I’m not talking about Gorsuch,” she said.

Sen. Bill Nelson (Fla.)

A spokesman for Nelson, who is up for re-election next year in a state Trump won narrowly, says his boss is “undecided.”

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)

A close ally of Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer, she will likely come out against Gorsuch but has not yet put out a statement.

She faces re-election next year in a state Trump carried.

Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.)

Tester wasn’t thrilled with Gorsuch’s testimony but he will not announce his decision until the week of March 27.

“There are some things I wish he had been a little bit more clear on. There are some questions he didn’t answer,” he told The Hill.


One thought on “The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee

  1. If Gorsuch can’t be confirmed we will have only 8 judges for quite a while. When one dies there will remain 7 and when another passes there will be 6. Soon we will have no supreme court. I don’t think Moses could be approved in today’s environment.


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