More Senate Dems Join Gorsuch Filibuster Huddle

Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch meets with Democratic Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Several additional Democratic Senators answered Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) call to filibuster Trump Supereme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch on Tuesday, as those opposed to allowing Judge Gorsuch an open vote on the Senate floor try to assemble the forty-one votes needed to block cloture.

The new fever to block Judge Gorsuch, the widely praised nominee to replace deceased champion of conservative jurisprudence Antonin Scalia, spread among senators from liberal leaning New England after Schumer’s call to join him in a filibuster of the nomination last week.

First to fall was Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). Shaheen told the New Hampshire Union Leader that Judge Gorsuch had a “very alarming record” and that she would be joining Chuck Schumer’s filibuster. “As Judge Gorsuch’s nomination comes to the floor, I will support a 60-vote threshold for approval,” she said.

Shaheen was quickly joined in her decision by fellow New Hampshire Democrat Maggie Hassan, who had been considered a possible swing vote on the nomination. In a post to Medium Tuesday afternoon, Hassan explained, “While Judge Gorsuch is by all accounts a man of great integrity in his personal life, his record demonstrates that he has too often shown a disregard for the impact that his decisions have on the lives of real Americans.”

Hassan went on to cite a number of cases that raised her ire, including Judge Gorsuch’s dissent from a court decision that forced a trucking company to rehire a driver who abandoned his freezing truck. The dissent has since become a Democratic talking point. While she stopped short of explicitly saying she would join Schumer’s filibuster, Hassan did write that, “I will vote against this nomination, and I support maintaining the traditional 60-vote threshold for confirming Supreme Court nominees.”

Finally, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-CT, a legislator with a consistent liberal voting record, joined a growing group of colleagues on the Senate’s left-wing in stating he will not vote for Judge Gorsuch to be confirmed. “The risk that Judge Gorsuch will inject his political judgment into a process that already too often favors the rights of special interests or corporations over the rights of individuals is too great for him to earn my support,” he told the Connecticut Mirror. Murphy also stopped short of saying we would join Schumer’s filibuster attempt.

Forty Senators, in addition to Schumer himself, would have to join with him in order to prevent Republicans from invoking cloture with sixty and giving Judge Gorsuch an up-down vote on the Senate floor.


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