Two Senate Democrats looking to a difficult battle for re-election next year in Republican states said on Thursday they will approve of Trump’s appointee to the Supreme Court as another co-worker warned of the political risks to vote against Judge Neil Gorsuch.
Joe Manchin, the Senator from West Virginia, and North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp declared in different statements that they will be joining the 52 Senate Republicans in backing the appellate judged based in Denver. The Senate’s vote on confirmation is expected by the end of next week.
“I hold no illusions that I will agree with every decision Judge Gorsuch may issue in the future, but I have not found any reasons why this jurist should not be a Supreme Court Justice,” argued Manchin.
Heitkamp stated she expects Gorsuch to make good on his promise of an independent judiciary that “acts as a proper check and balance on the other two branches of government.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., last week commented that Democrats would filibuster the confirmation. With a 52-seat majority, Republicans require eight Democrats add to their votes to break the 60-vote threshold and proceed.
It’s uncertain if they will have those votes — of the 10 Senate Democrats who are up for re-election in states Trump won, five have already confirmed they will not vote for him. McConnell has claimed that he will change the rules if he doesn’t get the votes, meaning they could continue to a final confirmation vote with only a simple majority.