Nine Democratic senators have publicly committed to holding a floor vote on Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, almost assuring his confirmation.
Though Gorsuch will almost certainly be confirmed on a floor vote by the strength of the Republican majority alone, the GOP must attract a handful of Democratic senators to their side in the event of a filibuster.
There are, for the moment, 52 Republicans in the chamber. That number will, if only for a short time, fall to 51 when Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions is installed as U.S. attorney general. Unlike other federal judicial nominees, Supreme Court nominees are subject to filibuster, which can only be ended with the support of 60 senators.
However, the prospect that Gorsuch will surpass the 60-vote threshold now appears to be certain, as nine Democrats have committed to voting for cloture.
Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin told The State Journal Register that he will support a hearing and a vote for Gorsuch on Jan 31.
That same day, Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal made a similar commitment on MSNBC.
Durbin and Blumenthal are both members of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Gorsuch will give testimony and answer questions before the panel in the coming weeks.
“I will support having a hearing and a vote because I think the President’s nominee deserves that consideration,” he said.
Democratic Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill made similar remarks on Twitter.
Other Senate Democrats who have committed to holding a vote on Gorsuch’s nomination include Sens. Chris Coons, Joe Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp, Jon Tester, Joe Donnelly and Jeanne Shaheen.
In advance of his hearing, Gorsuch has launched a charm offensive on Capitol Hill, meeting with over a dozen senators in private meetings. As is typical of Supreme Court nominations, Gorsuch will meet with most members of the Senate before the floor vote.
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