Schumer On Gorsuch: Change The Nominee, Not The Rules

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Ted Goodman Contributor
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Democratic New York Sen. Chuck Schumer suggested President Donald Trump should change his nominee for the Supreme Court if Judge Neil Gorsuch cannot reach the 60 vote threshold.

Schumer offered the proposal on NBC’s “Meet the Press” with Chuck Todd Sunday morning. Todd asked Schumer directly, “Why not give Neil Gorsuch an up or down vote?”

Schumer responded; “It looks like Gorsuch will not reach the 60 vote margin, so instead of changing the rules, which is up to Mitch McConnell and Republican majority, why doesn’t President Trump, Democrats and Republicans in Senate, sit down and try to come up with a mainstream nominee?”

Schumer explained his philosophy, arguing that if Gorsuch cannot get to 60 votes, he shouldn’t be confirmed. “Look, when a nominee doesn’t get 60 votes, you shouldn’t change the rules, you should change the nominee,” he told Todd.

“Lets just look at the history, our nominee was Merrick Garland,” Schumer said in reference to former President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who passed away suddenly in February 2016.

“Mitch McConnell broke 230 of precedent and didn’t call him [Garland] up for a vote,” Schumer said. He refuted the Senate Republican argument that they didn’t bring Garland up for a vote because a Supreme Court nominee should not be confirmed so close to a presidential election. “It wasn’t in the middle of an election campaign, it was March,” he explained.

“We have the votes to prevent Gorsuch from getting on. Now that doesn’t mean you have to change the rules. Each side did not get their nominee. lets sit down and come together,” Schumer argued.

Schumer refused to confirm to Todd whether or not Senate Democrats had the votes to block Gorsuch, but said it was “highly unlikely” that he has the 60 votes necessary for confirmation.

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