Sanders to oppose Gorsuch's nomination
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides The Memo: Democrats confront prospect of long primary MORE (I-Vt.) said on Thursday that he will oppose Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination, joining a wing of progressive senators opposed to President Trump's pick for the Supreme Court.

"After careful consideration of Judge Gorsuch’s record, I have concluded that I will not vote to confirm him to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court," Sanders, a member of Senate Democratic leadership, said in a statement.

Democrats wanted Gorsuch to at least hint at his views on specific cases and issues during his three days testifying before the Judiciary Committee, but Sanders argued that Trump's nominee "refused to answer legitimate questions."

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Sanders joins several Democrats who are going on the record against Gorsuch's nomination. Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerOvernight Health Care: Trump officials making changes to drug pricing proposal | House panel advances flavored e-cig ban | Senators press FDA tobacco chief on vaping ban Chad Wolf becomes acting DHS secretary Schumer blocks drug pricing measure during Senate fight, seeking larger action MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyNew ObamaCare enrollment period faces Trump headwinds Scrap House defense authorization provision benefitting Russia Here are the Senate Democrats backing a Trump impeachment inquiry over Ukraine call MORE Jr. (D-Pa.) both announced earlier Thursday that they are opposed.

Republicans are expected to need 60 votes to clear Gorsuch through the Senate, which would require the support of at least eight Democrats and Independents.

But GOP leadership also hasn't ruled out the "nuclear option," a procedural move that would lower the 60-vote hurdle to a simple majority.

Sanders added on Thursday that he wouldn't support changing Senate rules, though Republicans could be able to do that without Democratic support.

"I will not support Republican efforts to change the rules to choke off debate and ram the nomination through the Senate," he said.

Progressive senators are widely expected to oppose Gorsuch, with Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides MORE (D-Mass.) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSunday shows — New impeachment phase dominates Brown confirms he won't enter 2020 race: 'I think it's a good field' GM officially sells Ohio plant, months after Trump touted sale MORE (D-Ohio) already announcing their opposition.