Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday hinted at where the vote count may be on President Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch.
The New York Democrat implied that Gorsuch’s support in the Senate may not reach 60 votes, the number that is needed to end debate and vote on the nomination.
President Trump, who appears to have little grasp of the rules nor the ramifications of changing them, has urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to vote to change the rules to require just a simple majority to end debate, a move that is so drastic that it is referred to as ‘going nuclear’ in the Senate.
Schumer had a different perspective, essentially saying that if Gorsuch does not have at least 60 votes in the Senate, perhaps, he is not the type of nominee that should be a justice.
“If a nominee cannot get 60 votes, you don’t change the rules, you change the nominee,” the Minority Leader said noting that the Democrats did not change the rules when the shoe was on the other foot, “because we knew it was such an important position it ought to get some bipartisan support.”
He also said that “a good number of our Republican colleagues” are against changing the rules in the Senate. Democrats are making a strong push against Gorsuch ahead of his confirmation hearing which is coming up next week.
“Neil Gorsuch may act like a neutral, calm judge, but his record and his career clearly show he harbors a right-wing, pro-corporate, special-interest agenda,” Schumer said at a press conference standing alongside Senator Richard Blumenthal and some people who have been on the losing end of Gorsuch’s rulings in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“He enacted [that agenda] time and again on the 10th Circuit. I have no doubt he’d do it again on the Supreme Court,” the New York Senator added.
Senator Blumenthal criticized Gorsuch for failing to answer questions in meetings with various senators about his views on worker protections, women’s healthcare, consumer rights, privacy rights and the independence of the judiciary.
“I will be pressing him and aggressively questioning him on all of these issues because he has an obligation to come clean with the American people before he assumes a lifetime appointment on the nation’s highest court,” he said.
“And if he shows in his answers that he is out of the mainstream as his opinions indicate he very well may be, I will use every tool available, including the filibuster, to oppose him.”