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WASHINGTON (AP) — Two Democratic senators on Sunday split over supporting Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana said he would vote in favor of Gorsuch’s confirmation while Sen. Jon Tester of Montana announced he would not back the federal appeals court judge based in Denver.

Donnelly became the third Democrat to break with the party as Republicans line up behind President Donald Trump’s choice for the high court.

With 52 Republican senators, eight votes from Democrats or the Senate’s two independents would be needed to advance the nomination and prevent a filibuster. So far, only Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia — all representing states Trump won in November and all up for re-election next year — have said they will vote to confirm Gorsuch.

Tester represents a state won by Trump and faces re-election, too, but he said Gorsuch did not directly answer questions when the two met or during the confirmation hearing. Tester said he based his decision on the judge’s past cases, noting that he found troubling Gorsuch’s record on privacy and that he believes Gorsuch places corporations over people.

Donnelly called Gorsuch, 49, “a qualified jurist who will base his decisions on his understanding of the law and is well-respected among his peers.”

Hours before Donnelly’s and Tester’s announcements, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he didn’t expect Gorsuch to receive 60 votes to overcome a filibuster threat.

If Democrats mounted a filibuster, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was expected to seek a change in Senate rules allowing a simple majority of the 100-member Senate to confirm the nomination.

“Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed this week,” McConnell said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” He added: “How that happens really depends on our Democratic friends. How many of them are willing to oppose cloture on a partisan basis to kill a Supreme Court nominee.”

Such a change in Senate rules — known as the “nuclear option” — would likely be retained in the future and thus make Supreme Court confirmations more susceptible to simple party-line votes instead of bipartisan support.


Associated Press writer Matt Volz in Helena, Montana, contributed to this report

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14 thoughts on “Three Democrats Break Party Lines To Vote For Gorsuch, But Will It Be Enough?

  1. Barb on said:

    If you can clear your mind of the deeply seeded hatred you have for people of other race, maybe just maybe you will see what he stands for. But those of you who lives in a house wheels can never seem to Rise above your upbringing, and will continue to wallow in mud.

    • Diane on said:

      U have fake ppl who frequent this website and use terms like, “us blks” and other terms. But in reality, We knw they aren’t blk. Wishful thinking!!

    • Chris on said:

      Barb, enlighten us. Gorsuch was unanimously approved for his current position, federal appellate judge. Not one democrat objected to his appointment in 2006, that includes Obama, Clinton, Reid etc.

      • Diane on said:

        Now he’s going to be a lifetime judge. He’ll be making decisions about women’s, Heath and women’s rights, civil rights and all the other rights we fought for over the past decades. We’re going back to the 50s. SAD!!!

  2. Chris on said:

    In 2013, Democrats, led by then-Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, finally gave in to frustration over the refusal by the chamber’s Republican minority to approve President Barack Obama’s appointees, notably appeals-court judges. With the support of 52 Democrats, Reid succeeded in deploying the nuclear option, easing passage of several of Obama’s executive-branch and judicial nominees.

    Reid limited the scope of his maneuver to appointments below the level of Supreme Court justice; for the Supreme Court, traditional filibuster and cloture rules would still apply. The fact that Reid left that exception is what brought us to the current faceoff.


    I love the left’s hypocrisy of when it fits their agenda.

  3. Diane on said:

    That’s the whole problem with the dem party. They can’t stick together. That’s why there’s a fool in the White House. It is what it is. This country will lose every civil right they was provided for us with this guy. Welcome back to the 50s, ppl.

    • Barb on said:

      You’re right! I believe he has some damaging info on somebody and that’s why he has not been impeached. He and those children have broken all the ethics laws. Their business’s they still control is a conflict of interest. They are just lining their pockets and using the WH to pay off massive debts

      • Chris on said:

        Seriously Barb? If there was ANY evidence that would cause President Donald J. Trump to be impeached or any ethics laws broken by his children, don’t you think the trials would have started by now? The media would be orgasming 24 hours a day.

    • Chris on said:

      The democrat party stole the nomination from Sanders, coronated Clinton, she had all of Hollywood, every news outlet except for one, major sports figures, major musical acts endorsing her. America was tired of the same ol’, same ol’ politics, America was tired of the elites telling us who to vote for. Clinton was a terribly flawed candidate.

    • Dr. Larry on said:

      The man has an impeccable reputation of upholding Constitutional law. Creep? Really. Guess you heard that on the/Democratic plantation, and you must repeat it, because that’s what you do on the plantation. Educate yourself Barb and walk out the front gates. They are unlocked if you can muster the will to unlock your mind from slavery.

      • Barb on said:

        I do not care what your credentials are and how successful you are, whenever you look down on those who are less fortunate than you are, you are a P. O.S. I.E, the Republican Party
        Neil Gorsuch
        Paul Ryan

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