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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 HeitkampOvernight Defense: Congress poised for busy week on nominations, defense bill | Trump to deliver Naval Academy commencement speech | Trump administration appeals decision to block suspected combatant's transfer The Hill's Morning Report: Inside the Comey memos Democrats mull audacious play to block Pompeo 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) ManchinDemocrats mull audacious play to block Pompeo Heitkamp becomes first Dem to back Pompeo for secretary of State Trump eyes Cold War statute to keep coal burning: 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.

Read more from The Hill:

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