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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Democrats Aren’t Voting On Gorsuch—They’re Voting On Senate Rules

This is the make-or-break week in the quest to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. However, according to Republican leaders, it’s make-or-break for Senate Democrats—not Gorsuch. 

“We’re going to get Judge Gorsuch confirmed this week,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, implying that Republicans will vote to change the rules of the Senate in order to break an anticipated Democratic filibuster—just as Democrats did under Obama to get their appointments to the lower federal courts confirmed. “It’s in the hands of the Democrats.”

As of this writing, Democrats Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly have declared support for Gorsuch, while Montana’s Jon Tester and Missouri’s Claire McCaskill declared support for the filibuster. However, there being no doubt that Gorsuch is well-qualified, it’s clear that Democrats are not voting for or against Gorsuch; they’re voting on whether it will take another change in Senate rules to confirm him.