Perhaps one of the most fundamental issues brought to light over the last Presidential election was regarding the Supreme Court vacancy which filled up with death of Antonin Scalia. On the campaign trial, Donald Trump routinely stated that if elected, he would appoint somebody who would “fit the mold” created by the late conservative Justice. Not surprisingly, Hillary Clinton had hoped for a different type of nominee to the Supreme Court.
Since Trump was elected, many Democrats have been up in arms over Trump having the ability to appoint a Justice. Last winter, President Obama appointed Merrick Garland to replace Scalia. However, the Republican majority in the Senate refused to hold hearings, as they argued that the vacancy should not be filled by a lame duck President in the last year of the last term.
Fairly quickly into his Presidency, President Trump announced his decision to appoint Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court. He had previously served as a Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Interestingly, he was unanimously confirmed to this position in 2006, meaning many of the top-ranking Democrats in the Senate had actually voted for him previously.
Since then, confirmation hearings have taken place and the vote on his confirmation will be coming up very soon. Very few, if anybody has argued against Gorsuch’s credentials, his education, legal background, etc. all create very few areas to argue against his confirmation. Rather, the main basis to not confirm him has been regarding how the Senate Republican leadership had treated Obama’s appointee, Garland.
It is expected that every Republican in the Senate will vote in affirmation of Gorsuch. Yet, only two Democrats have publicly stated at this point that they will vote for him. Those right now are West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin as well as North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp. These red state Democrats are just two of the numerous Democratic Senators up for reelection in states Trump won, by a lot.
Right now, some members to watch are Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jon Trester (D-MT), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Angus King (I-ME), Dick Durbin (D-IL), as well as possibly, Mark Warner (D-VA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Although the odds of some of these members voting for him seem to be slim, certain statements made during the hearings make it seem as if they are at the very least considering in favor of him.
What do you think? Is it good politics for the Democrats to try to block Gorsuch? Let HYPELINE News know what you think in the comments!