US Senate battle over Trump Supreme Court pick gathers steam

McConnell is planning to escalate things further by making high-court nominees subject to a simple majority requirement to jam through Gorsuch, a significant change that will both dilute the minority party's leverage and empower presidents to select justices with no bipartisan appeal.

Now that it is official that Sen.

It appears that Democrats have enough support to filibuster the nomination on the Senate floor. "Now, when I say 'fake news, ' this is real fake news, not fake fake news that is real news that Donald Trump just doesn't like". Republicans will soon employ the so-called nuclear option, allowing Gorsuch to win confirmation with 50 votes rather than 60.

"We are headed for a potential tragedy for the country if we go down the road of partisan votes for Supreme Court nominees", said Blumenthal.

"They're pretty much dug in", Republican Senator John Thune said of Democratic colleagues.

Kaine: If they gave us a vote and they voted somebody down, we would have put somebody else up. Though predicting a justice's votes can be hard, Gorsuch's confirmation is expected to restore the conservative majority that existed while Scalia was alive, and which could persist for years or even grow. But as of Monday (3 April), Democrats had enough votes to make it a bumpy ride.

Republicans need a total of 60 votes to end the filibuster.

Democrats made clear they had no plans to do so, and blamed Republicans for pushing them to attempt a almost unheard of filibuster of a well-qualified Supreme Court pick.

McCain said last week that he was talking with senators in both parties to try to avoid using the "nuclear option" to change the rules.

"Sen. McConnell would have the world believe that his hands are tied, that the only option after Judge Gorsuch doesn't earn 60 votes is to break the rules, to change the rules".

Pressed by reporters on whether he will vote for the use of the nuclear option, Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley refused to explicitly say yes. "But either way, we will be moving toward confirming Judge Gorsuch on Friday".

Environmental groups vowing to fight Trump climate actions
Before taking office, Trump called climate change a " hoax " and blasted the Paris COP21 agreement as a "bad deal" for the U.S. He continued saying "They haven't been treated well, but they're going to be treated well now". "They are not coming back".

When Trump won the presidential election in November, the Garland nomination was dead, infuriating Democrats.

The change is an unpopular move that the then-majority Democrats used in 2013 for lower court judges and executive nominees.

The move to change venerable Senate rules reflects an intensifying of the already-toxic partisanship in Washington since Trump took office in January.

McConnell also said Tuesday that he had asked the Senate intelligence committee to investigate reports that former national security adviser Susan Rice ordered the unmasking of Trump transition officials under surveillance.

Republicans have said Gorsuch is well qualified for the job and is one of the most distinguished federal judges on the bench.

Sen. Chuck Schumer of NY, the top Senate Democrat, appearing on the same NBC program, said it's "highly unlikely" Gorsuch has enough votes to win confirmation under the 60-vote cloture rule because of his support from hard-right groups.

While Democrats have the votes for a filibuster, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is ready to lead the GOP in a unilateral change in a Senate floor procedure so significant that it has been dubbed the "nuclear option".

However, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the panel, said Gorsuch's answers during two days of questioning before the committee were "diluted with ambiguity".

Schumer also noted McConnell's treatment of President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, who was picked to replace Justice Antonin Scalia after his death in February of 2016.

The article, "Toomey to do "what it takes" for Gorsuch", has caused me to increase my Zofran.