Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told NBC’s Meet The Press that Neil Gorsuch doesn’t have the 60 votes needed to move forward, so Republicans and Trump need to pick a more mainstream Supreme Court nominee.
Transcript via Meet The Press:
CHUCK TODD: Why not give Neil Gorsuch an up or down vote, Senator Schumer?
SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER: Let me make a proposal here to maybe break this problem that we have, okay? It looks like Gorsuch will not reach the 60-vote margin. So instead of changing the rules, which is up to Mitch McConnell and the Republican majority, why doesn’t President Trump, Democrats, and Republicans in the Senate, sit down, and try to come up with a mainstream nominee?
Look, when a nominee doesn’t get 60 votes, you shouldn’t change the rules, you should change the nominee.
CHUCK TODD: Do you have the votes to filibuster Neil Gorsuch? Do you have it?
SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER: Look, what happened was that when Gorsuch refused to answer the most rudimentary questions in the hearings, after there were many doubts about him to begin with, he wouldn’t even then answer whether he supported Brown v. Board, even Judge Roberts, who was very reticent, did that. There was a seismic change in my caucus. And it’s highly, highly unlikely that he’ll get 60. That’s right.
Sen. Schumer knows that he has got the votes needed to block Gorsuch, but he doesn’t want to say that publicly just yet. There is a reason why Republicans have been fretting and hand wringing for weeks over potentially having to change the filibuster rule for Supreme Court nominees. They know that Gorsuch doesn’t have the votes.
Senate Republicans don’t want to change the filibuster rule because what goes around comes around, and sometime in the near future Democrats could be back in charge, and if the filibuster is gone, there will be nothing stopping Democrats from shifting the court in a very liberal direction.
Mitch McConnell opened up this can of worms by refusing to allow a vote on Merrick Garland. Democrats are going to force Republicans to do something that they don’t want to do because payback time is here.
Before Majority Leader McConnell gets a chance to change the rules, Trump will become the first president in modern political history to have his Supreme Court nominee filibustered.
It will be another humiliation for the unpopular president whose seeds were sown when Mitch McConnell denied a vote to Merrick Garland.