Democrats oppose Gorsuch, say he rules against workers

Chuck Schumer, D-NY, plans to lead a Democrat filibuster of Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch.

"I have concluded that I can not support Neil Gorsuch's nomination", Schumer said on the Senate floor.

During opening statements Monday by members of the Judiciary Committee, some Democrat senators focused criticism on President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

The Republicans need 60 votes to end debate on the Gorsuch nomination in the 100-seat Senate before a final vote on his nomination.

The Democrats join several other colleagues in their party who have said they will vote against Gorsuch, including another five Democrats who announced their opposition Thursday.

Despite the Democratic opposition, Gorsuch is expected to be confirmed by the Senate's Republican majority.

"If this nominee can not earn 60 votes, a bar met by each of President Obama's nominees and George Bush's last two nominees, the answer isn't to change the rules".

Murray said one reason she's opposing Gorsuch is because of "chaos" in Trump's administration, pointing to his refugee and travel ban blocked by federal courts and an FBI investigation into the Trump campaign's connections with Russian Federation. McConnell has said he hopes to confirm Gorsuch on the Senate floor by the end of that week, before the Senate leaves for a two-week recess and in time for the Court's April arguments. But when McConnell announced this week that he meant to get Gorsuch confirmed by the Senate's Easter recess on April 7, that was a clock that forced the Democrats' hand.

Republicans have a 52-48 majority, so at least eight Democrats and independents will have to vote with Republicans. Under the deal worked out with McCain, the Democrats would forgo a change in the filibuster rule if the Republicans would allow a vote on one of those nominees.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein is also noting that President Barack Obama's nominee to the court, Judge Merrick Garland, received the ABA's well-qualified rating, but didn't get a hearing.

Retired U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Deanell Reece Tacha served with Gorsuch and said he brings to the bench a powerful intellect and does not use his role as judge for anything other than deciding the case before him.

Schumer was also critical of Gorsuch on Tuesday, accusing the judge of playing "dodgeball" with the Senate Judiciary Committee by avoiding questions on his judicial philosophy and legal issues that concern the American people. Then again, Supreme Court nominations do get more scrutiny, and the current political climate is arguably more toxic than it was over a decade ago. They include West Virginia's Joe Manchin and Florida's Bill Nelson, both undecided on Gorsuch, their spokesmen told Reuters.

As of late on Wednesday, it was unclear what Democrats would do, but conservative activists had identified 10 possible "yes" votes for Gorsuch among Democrats seeking re-election next year in states that Trump won in the 2016 election. Gorsuch's interpretation was that a "free and appropriate public education" under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act "must merely be more than de minimis".

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