President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch inched closer to securing the vacant seat over the weekend when Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) announced that he would become the third Democrat to cast a “yes” vote.
“After meeting with Judge Gorsuch, conducting a thorough review of his record, and closely following his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I believe that he is a qualified jurist who will base his decisions on his understanding of the law and is well-respected among his peers,” Donnelly said in a statement.
He joins Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) in going against the wishes of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who has continued to ramp up his rhetoric against Gorsuch’s nomination after pointedly telling his fellow Democrats to vote “no” and potentially force a filibuster.
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Schumer went to so far as to suggest that Trump should replace Gorsuch with a “mainstream nominee.”
“Our Republican friends are acting like, you know, they’re a cat on the top of a tree and they have to jump off with all the damage that entails. Come back off the tree, sit down, and work with us and we will produce a mainstream nominee,” he said.
Five more Democrats need to cast a yes vote in order to order to make Gorsuch’s confirmation filibuster-proof; 35 Democratic senators have already vowed to cast a no vote. Republicans could also change the Senate rules concerning Supreme Court nominations and require that they only obtain a simple majority, or 51 votes.