Dem senator ‘not inclined to filibuster’ Gorsuch

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is signaling that he could buck Democratic leadership and help President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee clear a 60-vote threshold in the Senate.  

“I am not inclined to filibuster, even though I’m not inclined to vote for him,” Leahy — a former chairman of the Judiciary Committee — told a Vermont news outlet. 
Neil Gorsuch will need 60 votes — including the support of at least eight Democratic senators — to overcome an initial procedural hurdle. GOP leadership has refused to rule out using the “nuclear” option, which would allow Gorsuch and future Supreme Court nominees to clear the Senate with only a simple majority. 
Leahy warned Republicans against going nuclear, saying that eliminating the 60-vote threshold to end debate on a nominee “hurts everybody.” 
“I was very reluctant to see us the use nuclear option, though I don’t think we would have seen any of President Obama’s judges go through without it,” he told VTDigger. 
{mosads}Senate Democrats under the leadership of then-Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) got rid of the 60-vote requirement on executive and lower court nominations. 
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said late last week that he would oppose Gorsuch and urge his Democratic colleagues to reject him. 
“He will have to earn 60 votes for confirmation. My vote will be no, and I urge my colleagues to do the same,” he said on the Senate floor.
Thirteen Democratic senators have come out against Gorsuch’s nomination, according to The Hill’s whip list
While most members of the Democratic caucus’s progressive wing have said they will oppose him, the 10 Democrats up for reelection in states carried by Trump — who could make or break Gorsuch’s nomination — have largely stayed on the fence. 
Leahy added that while he has “seen nothing that will bring me to vote for Gorsuch,” he’s waiting to see his additional written answers before making an official decision. 
Tags Chuck Schumer Harry Reid Patrick Leahy

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