Schumer: Trump's Supreme Court pick will need 60 votes
© Greg Nash

Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe Hill's Morning Report - Democrats sense opportunity with SCOTUS vacancy Schumer finds unity moment in Supreme Court fight Breyer retirement throws curveball into midterms MORE (D-N.Y.) insisted on Wednesday that Neil Gorsuch, Trump's Supreme Court pick, will need 60 votes to clear the upper chamber. 

"We Democrats will insist on a rigorous but fair process. There will be 60 votes for confirmation," he said from the Senate floor. "There will be 60 votes for confirmation." 
Schumer said requiring 60 votes for confirmation of Gorsuch is "the right thing to do." 
Though Merkley has said he will filibuster Trump's pick, Schumer is publicly staying on the fence and hasn't explicitly backed a filibuster. 
But Schumer is defending his party's push for Gorsuch to get 60 votes, noting that previous Supreme Court nominees have been able to win bipartisan support. 
"It was a bar met by each of President Obama's nominations," he said. "In my mind 60 votes is the appropriate way to go whether there is a Democratic president or a Republican president, a Democratic Senate or a Republican Senate." 
Both of Obama's nominees, Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, got bipartisan support, but were not filibustered by Republicans, who were then in the minority, or required to overcome a 60-threshold procedural vote. 
The back-and-forth over Trump's nominee comes as the president endorsed going "nuclear" and lowering the requirement to a simple majority if Democrats block his nominee. 
Schumer appeared to push against Trump on Wednesday, arguing that if Gorsuch can't get 60 votes, then the "problem" is with the president's pick. 
"Those who say at the end of this process there are only two possible results, that the Senate will confirm this nominee or Republicans will use the nuclear options to change the rules of the Senate are dead wrong. That is a false choice," he said. 
He added that, in that case, "the answer should not be to change the rules of the Senate, but to change the nominee to a mainstream candidate." 
Gorsuch is making early rounds on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, meeting with McConnell, Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleySenate Republicans press federal authorities for information on Texas synagogue hostage-taker Small ranchers say Biden letting them get squeezed These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 MORE (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchMeet Washington's most ineffective senator: Joe Manchin Lobbying world Congress, stop holding 'Dreamers' hostage MORE (R-Utah), who is also a member of the committee responsible for green lighting his nomination. 
McConnell praised Gorsuch on Wednesday, calling him an "outstanding" nominee. He pushed Democrats to avoid forcing Republicans to file cloture on the pick, something that has only been required four times for Supreme Court nominees. 
"I expect Democrats who insist we need nine to follow through on giving that advice by giving the new nominee a fair consideration and up-or-down vote just as we did for past presidents of both parties," he said on Wednesday. 
But Democrats remain bitter over McConnell's treatment of Merrick Garland, Obama's Supreme Court nominee. Senate Republicans refused to give Garland a hearing or a vote.
Schumer added on Wednesday that Gorsuch should be subject to greater scrutiny because of lingering concerns over the Trump administration. 
The administration has "less respect for the rule of law than any in recent memory and is challenging the constitution in unprecedented fashion so there's a special burden on this nominee to be an independent jurists," he argued.