Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced on Thursday that he will oppose President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and said Senate Republicans will need to muster up 60 votes to confirm Gorsuch, suggesting that Democrats will filibuster his confirmation.
“After careful deliberation, I have concluded that I cannot support Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court,” Schumer said on the Senate floor. “His nomination will have a cloture vote. He will have to earn 60 votes for confirmation. My vote will be no, and I urge my colleagues to do the same.”
He addressed Republicans who have suggested using the so-called “nuclear option” if faced with a Democratic filibuster on Gorsuch’s nomination, in which a simple majority could change the Senate rules on confirming Supreme Court nominees.
“If this nominee cannot earn 60 votes, a bar met by each of President Obama’s nominees and George Bush’s last two nominees, the answer isn’t to change the rules,” Schumer said. “It’s to change the nominee.”
Schumer said that Gorsuch failed to convince him that, if confirmed, he would act as “an independent check on a president who has shown almost no restraint from executive overreach.”
“He was unable to convince me that he would be a mainstream justice who could rule free from the biases of politics and ideology,” Schumer said. “And finally, he is someone who almost instinctively favors the powerful over the weak, corporations over working Americans.”
Schumer said that Gorsuch responded to questions with “banalities and platitutes” during his confirmation hearing instead of explaining his record and “judicial philosophy.”
“We didn’t get any real answers to any real questions about what he thinks about the law and why,” Schumer said.