Orrin Hatch to back nuclear option if needed to confirm Gorsuch

Gorsuch

Republican Sen. John McCain is having informal conversations with Senate Democrats about Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court, while cautioning he does not see a deal on preserving the filibuster for future nominations as a realistic prospect.

"Iif Judge Gorsuch fails to earn 60 votes, and fails to demonstrate he is mainstream enough to sit on the highest court, we should change the nominee not the rules". Gorsuch, the affable Colorado appellate judge, was viewed as a conservative who might be able to attract some Democratic votes.

Democrat Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota is also a yes, saying he is fair and empathetic.

Sixty senators would have to vote in favor of confirming Gorsuch's nomination.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in 2013: "We much prefer the risk of up or down votes and majority rule [on judicial nominees], than the risk of continued total obstruction".

This means it's expected Minnesota's two DFL Senators will vote "no" against Gorsuch, whose confirmation vote is expected to be held within the next week.

The Senate plans to vote on President Donald Trump's first Supreme Court nominee on April 7.

"But I'm a big believer if the situations were reversed and there was a Republican President in the past year on the federal level, I would be calling, just like some Republican Senators have, I just listened to Senator Collins from Maine saying we should be giving this person a hearing, an up-or-down vote", he said.

Nevada's two USA senators are split on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch.

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Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, who says she is torn over how to vote, highlighted the dilemma for Democratic senators running next year in states that Trump won.

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY had tough words for his Republican counterpart, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, in an interview with The Associated Press.

Democratic leaders want to make sure the opposition is in place, and Republicans are taking the pulse of traditionalists who might chafe at a rules change.

If confirmed by the Senate to fill a vacancy created by the February 2016 death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, Gorsuch, 49, would restore the nine-seat high court's conservative majority.

"They could easily come to another nominee, who might be a little more mainstream".

Republicans insist on getting Judge Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court.

Heinrich also indicated he would join other Democrats in a rare filibuster of the Supreme Court nominee by not voting to invoke cloture. "My vote will be no, and I urge my colleagues to do the same".

Neither McConnell nor Schumer will say, exactly, how many senators they have on their side. We will end up with Reid breaking the rules and changing the rules, McConnell breaking the rules and changing the rules, it'll just take one tough legislative issue coming up and somebody else will do it.

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