Supreme Court showdown looms with far-reaching consequences

With Democratic Party resistance to President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch still in flux, American voters are taking to the streets on Saturday to stage a "People's Filibuster" against the conservative judge.

"Senate Democrats agreed with that assessment back in 2006, when the chamber unanimously confirmed him to his current post" on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver, the Texas Republican said in an op-ed piece on CNN. Trump won West Virginia by 68-26 percent, and he won North Dakota by 63-27 percent; both senators face re-election next year. Senate Republicans will nuke the rule to allow for confirmation of Gorsuch through a simple majority.

In a recent spate of television ads, the Judicial Crisis Network extolls the Supreme Court nominee and slams Tester and other vulnerable red-state Democrats who have straddled the fence about whether they will support Gorsuch, the nominee to fill the seat vacated by Justice Antonin Scalia's death. "Let's assume for the purposes of this discussion that we turn down Gorsuch, that there are not eight Democrats that vote to confirm him and therefore there's not enough to put him on the Supreme Court".

She made the announced Friday afternoon, saying Gorsuch's record on the bench shows a pattern of putting corporations above people. They pushed through a rules change lowering the vote threshold on all nominees except for the Supreme Court from 60 to a simple majority. She said she was disappointed with many of Gorsuch's answers at the hearing and felt he wasn't forthcoming enough.

Another senator commenting on the dispute said tersely that Gorsuch "will be confirmed".

In a brutal post published Friday on Medium, Democratic Sen.

Progressive activists have been urging Democratic senators to filibuster Gorsuch and the senators are largely complying, even while Senate Democrats privately fret that it might make more strategic sense to take a dive on this vote and mount strong opposition to a hypothetical future nominee.

"While I have come to the conclusion that I can't support Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court - and will vote no on the procedural vote and his confirmation - I remain very anxious about our polarized politics and what the future will bring, since I'm certain we will have a Senate rule change that will usher in more extreme judges in the future", McCaskill wrote. If they can, the unlimited debate enabled by the filibuster will end and an up-or-down vote will occur in which Gorsuch needs only a majority to prevail.

"No doubt, the (owners') religious convictions are contestable", Gorsuch wrote in a 2013 concurring opinion to a 10th Circuit decision later upheld by the Supreme Court.

Jon Tester of Montana and Joe Donnelly of IN also both represent strongly Trumpy states and are as yet undecided. Changing the rules only requires a majority of the senators present at the vote.

Though it may seem arcane, the approach is known on Capitol Hill as the "nuclear option", because it strikes at the heart of the Senate's traditions of bipartisanship and collegiality.

"We will continue to support the confirmation of exceptionally qualified nominees like Neil Gorsuch, who enjoy a broad base of bipartisan support due to their commitment to putting the law ahead of any political agenda".

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