Senate GOP United, Democrats Skeptical of Trump Court Pick - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Senate GOP United, Democrats Skeptical of Trump Court Pick

Posted: Updated:
Judge Neil Gorsuch (Photo: AP) Judge Neil Gorsuch (Photo: AP)

WASHINGTON (AP)- Senate Republicans are standing united behind President Donald Trump's nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and bracing for a protracted fight with Democrats over a conservative judge similar in philosophy to the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
    
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Gorsuch, a Denver-based judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, "has an impressive background and a long record of faithfully applying the law and the Constitution." One after the other, Senate Republicans echoed the leader, describing Gorsuch as a well-qualified jurist.
    
With Vice President Mike Pence by his side, Gorsuch was planning to meet with McConnell on Wednesday on Capitol Hill.
    
If confirmed, the 49-year-old Gorsuch, whose nomination was announced Tuesday night, would be the youngest justice on the court and could be shaping decisions for decades.
    
Democrats signaled they will challenge the choice, insisting that Gorsuch, the Ivy League-educated son of a former Reagan Cabinet official, prove to them he is a mainstream nominee. Democrats are still furious with the way Republicans treated former President Barack Obama's nominee for the open seat last year, refusing to even grant a hearing or a vote to Judge Merrick Garland in Obama's final year in office.
    
Instead, the seat remained empty for 10 months and the court operated with eight justices as McConnell maintained that the next president should make the nomination.
    
"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," said Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.
    
Merkley suggested before the nominee was announced that he will hold up the nomination and force Republicans to find 60 votes for confirmation. Republicans hold a 52-48 majority.
    
Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer of New York hasn't officially said whether he would back a filibuster, the procedural maneuver that would require 60 votes. But he said after the nomination was announced that the Senate "must insist" on 60 votes, meaning McConnell will need bipartisan support. And any senator can move to filibuster.
    
Democrats are under intense pressure from liberal groups and the party base to challenge every Trump nominee. As the nomination was announced, hundreds were protesting at Schumer's Brooklyn home, pressuring him to vote against Cabinet picks and block the Supreme Court nominee.
    
Like Merkley, a handful of Democrats came out in immediate opposition to Gorsuch. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who said Gorsuch has sided with large companies over workers, and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, who said Gorsuch's rulings haven't favored American workers or women's rights. Brown and Warren are up for re-election in 2018.
    
Warren's Massachusetts colleague, Democratic Sen. Ed Markey, also said he will oppose Gorsuch. Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden indicated he would as well, citing Gorsuch's stand against laws that allow terminally ill people to end their lives.
    
Schumer is in a tough position. As liberal groups and Democratic voters angry about Trump's election victory press him to lead the loyal opposition, he must also be mindful of 23 Democrats and two independents up for re-election in 2018, including 10 in states won by Trump.
    
Some of those senators could face blowback from voters who see Democrats as obstructing Trump's pick. And some might decide to vote for Gorsuch.
    
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he had little sympathy for fellow Senate Democrats feeling pressure to support Trump's nominee because they're running for re-election in 2018 in states that Trump won. Manchin is among those up for re-election I n 2018.
    
"I didn't come here to say, 'Oh my goodness, if I don't do this, I might not get re-elected,'" Manchin said Wednesday  on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."  He's said he will examine Gorsuch's record and make "a determination of whether to provide my consent."
    
Several other Democrats were also noncommittal.
    
Montana Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat up for re-election next year in the Republican-leaning state, said he looks forward to "sitting down with Judge Gorsuch, looking him in the eye, asking him tough questions, and finding out if he shares our Montana values."
    
McConnell said he hoped all senators - Democrats included - show Gorsuch fair consideration and respect the outcome of the presidential election "with an up-or-down vote on his nomination, just like the Senate treated the four first-term nominees of Presidents Clinton and Obama."
    
The Republican leader made no mention of his treatment of Garland, whom Obama nominated in March after the sudden death of Scalia in February. The reference to an "up-or-down vote" was an acknowledgment of the challenge McConnell faces.
    
If McConnell fails to secure Democratic support to move the nomination, he'll come under intense pressure to blow up Senate rules and remove the filibuster, a move that would lower the threshold for approving Supreme Court nominees. Even Trump has suggested that McConnell scrap the rules.
    
The conservative Judicial Crisis Network has said it will spend $10 million to ensure Trump's pick is confirmed. The group launched its first ad buy within hours of Trump's announcement, airing ads in Montana, Indiana, North Dakota and Missouri, all states where Democrats are up for re-election and Trump won.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Wicomico County Sheriff's Facebook Post Questioned

    Wicomico County Sheriff's Facebook Post Under Fire

    10/17/2017 17:44:00 -04:002017-10-17 21:44:00 GMT
    Tuesday, October 17 2017 6:30 PM EDT2017-10-17 22:30:06 GMT
    SALISBURY, Md. - A now-deleted Facebook post from Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis is causing controversy in the county.Lewis' post referred to protesters outside a Ravens Game on Sunday. The protesters were demonstrating next to a Maryland State PolicMore
    SALISBURY, Md. - A now-deleted Facebook post from Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis is causing controversy in the county.Lewis' post referred to protesters outside a Ravens Game on Sunday. The protesters were demonstrating next to a Maryland State PolicMore
  • Arrest Made in Seaford Animal Cruelty Case

    Arrest Made in Seaford Animal Cruelty Case

    10/17/2017 15:28:00 -04:002017-10-17 19:28:00 GMT
    Tuesday, October 17 2017 3:50 PM EDT2017-10-17 19:50:18 GMT
    A Seaford man has been arrested on animal cruelty charges.More
    A Seaford, Del. man has been arrested on 449 charges, including felony animal cruelty, according to the state's Office of Animal Welfare.More
  • 18 Inmates Charged in Deadly Del. Prison Uprising

    16 Inmates Charged With First-degree Murder in Del. Prison Uprising

    10/17/2017 10:14:00 -04:002017-10-17 14:14:00 GMT
    Tuesday, October 17 2017 2:25 PM EDT2017-10-17 18:25:59 GMT
    Sixteen inmates have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with a deadly uprising that occurred in early February at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna.More
    Sixteen inmates have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with a deadly uprising that occurred in early February at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. Two other inmates were also charged in connection with the incident.More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • 18 Inmates Charged in Deadly Del. Prison Uprising

    18 Inmates Charged in Deadly Del. Prison Uprising

    Sixteen inmates have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with a deadly uprising that occurred in early February at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. Two other inmates were also charged in connection with the incident on Feb. 1-2 that resulted in the murder of Lt. Steven Floyd, injuries to Correctional Officers Winslow Smith and Joshua Wilkinson, and the kidnapping of counselor Patricia May.

    More

    Sixteen inmates have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with a deadly uprising that occurred in early February at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna. Two other inmates were also charged in connection with the incident on Feb. 1-2 that resulted in the murder of Lt. Steven Floyd, injuries to Correctional Officers Winslow Smith and Joshua Wilkinson, and the kidnapping of counselor Patricia May.

    More
  • Wicomico County Sheriff's Facebook Post Questioned

    Wicomico County Sheriff's Facebook Post Questioned

    A now-deleted Facebook post from Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis is causing controversy in the county. Lewis' post referred to protesters outside a Ravens Game on Sunday. The protesters were demonstrating next to a Maryland State Police trooper. In the post, Lewis referred to the protesters as "fist wielding, black power activists" who decried law enforcement officers' work.

    More

    A now-deleted Facebook post from Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis is causing controversy in the county. Lewis' post referred to protesters outside a Ravens Game on Sunday. The protesters were demonstrating next to a Maryland State Police trooper. In the post, Lewis referred to the protesters as "fist wielding, black power activists" who decried law enforcement officers' work.

    More
  • Political Mudslinging Ahead of Hurlock Town Elections

    Political Mudslinging Ahead of Hurlock Town Elections

    Samantha McDonald posted her support for mayor of Hurlock to Michael Henry on Facebook. That's when current Mayor Joyce Spratt messaged her.

    In that message, Mayor Spratt said McDonald had been fed lies. McDonald says the Mayor's message was completely inappropriate.

    WBOC went to Mayor Spratt to ask her about the message and allegations McDonald and others have made against her.

    More

    Samantha McDonald posted her support for mayor of Hurlock to Michael Henry on Facebook. That's when current Mayor Joyce Spratt messaged her.

    In that message, Mayor Spratt said McDonald had been fed lies. McDonald says the Mayor's message was completely inappropriate.

    WBOC went to Mayor Spratt to ask her about the message and allegations McDonald and others have made against her.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices