Centrist Democrat calls for up-or-down vote for Gorsuch

Centrist Democrat calls for up-or-down vote for Gorsuch

Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampJustice Dept investigating Equifax stock sales: report Dem senator: Trump 'very serious' about infrastructure Trump steps up courtship of Dems MORE (N.D.), a centrist Democrat up for reelection in a state that strongly supported President Trump, said Tuesday that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch should get an up-or-down vote.

“As I said last year when Judge Garland was nominated — and reiterated again when Judge Gorsuch was nominated — the U.S. Senate should have an up or down vote on any Supreme Court nominee as part of fulfilling our constitutional duty of providing advice and consent on nominees to the Supreme Court,” Heitkamp said in a statement.

She said Republicans shouldn’t have played politics with the high court by refusing to give Merrick Garland, President Obama’s nominee to the court, a hearing or a floor vote last year.

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But she argued that Democrats should not do the same with Trump’s pick.

“It’s my duty to fully consider any Supreme Court nominee, regardless of which party is in the White House — such a role should be above politics,” Heitkamp said in her statement.

Heitkamp said she is “in the process of reviewing the materials he submitted and testimony from his hearing” and is still considering the nominee’s record.

Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinGOP sees fresh opening with Dems’ single payer embrace Trump steps up courtship of Dems The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (W.Va.), another centrist Democrat, took a similar approach Monday when he told NBC that he would vote to end a filibuster of Gorsuch but had not made a final decision on whether to support him on a final confirmation vote, which only requires a simple majority.

Republicans control 52 seats and need eight Democrats or Independents to vote with them to end a filibuster liberals plan to wage against Gorsuch.

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The Hill's Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump's Supreme Court nominee