McConnell: ‘We're Going to Get Judge Gorsuch Confirmed’

Susan Jones | March 29, 2017 | 5:37am EDT
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says Judge Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed to the Supreme Court next Friday. He is seen here speaking to reporters on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. (Screen grab from C-SPAN)

( – The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote to send Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination to the full Senate next Monday, and Gorsuch will be confirmed on Friday – period, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told a news conference on Tuesday.

“I repeat, we're going to get Judge Gorsuch confirmed.” McConnell said the vote will give Democrats the “opportunity” to invoke cloture. “We’ll see where that ends,” he added.

McConnell said it will be up to Democrats to determine how the confirmation process goes. (If no Democrat is willing to confirm Gorsuch, Republicans could change Senate rules to allow him to be confirmed with 51 votes instead of 60.)

Judge Gorsuch, as you know, is extraordinarily well qualified. It's almost amusing to watch our Democratic friends try to come up with some rationale for opposition.

Several have suggested that a Supreme Court justice needs to get 60 votes. In fact, I think you already know, no Supreme Court justice has ever been stopped with a partisan filibuster. There was one rather unusual exception, the Fortas nomination in 1968, ironically in the middle of a presidential election year in which both sides collaborated to stop the nomination.

So, no Supreme Court justice has ever been stopped with a partisan filibuster. That is obviously what the Democratic leader has announced they will do. We are optimistic that they will not be successful in keeping this good man from joining the Supreme Court very soon.

McConnell said several times he’s “confident” that Gorsuch will be confirmed.

Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) rejected the notion that Democrats are opposing Gorsuch in retaliation for Republicans failing to take up the nomination of Merrick Garland, President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.

“There are several principled reasons to oppose Judge Gorsuch's nomination,” said Schumer. The senator argues that Gorsuch won’t be an independent check on President Trump; he is not a “mainstream” justice but has a “deep-seated conservative ideology”; and he “favors the powerful over the weak.”

“So when Republicans say that if Democrats won't support Judge Gorsuch, we won't support any Republican-nominated Judge -- that's simply not true,” Schumer said. “It may be hard for us to support anyone from a list culled by the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation, but we have several reasons to be concerned with Judge Gorsuch specifically.”

Schumer said if Gorsuch can't get 60 votes, "it's not because Democrats are being obstructionist. It's because he failed to convince 60 Senators that he belongs on the Supreme Court."

Schumer said the idea of Republicans changing Senate rules to confirm Gorsuch is "utter bunk."

"It is the free choice of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to pursue a change in rules if that's what they decide. And I'd remind the Majority Leader that he does not come to this with clean hands; he blocked Merrick Garland for over a year. We wouldn't even be here if Judge Garland was given fair consideration. That's why we're here today, not because of any Democrat."


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