SPONSORED:

Donnelly becomes third Democrat to back Gorsuch

Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyRepublicans fret over divisive candidates Everybody wants Joe Manchin Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives MORE (D-Ind.) said Sunday that he will support the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, becoming the third moderate Democrat to break with his party and back President Trump’s nominee.

“After meeting with Judge Gorsuch, conducting a thorough review of his record, and closely following his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I believe that he is a qualified jurist who will base his decisions on his understanding of the law and is well-respected among his peers,” Donnelly said in a statement.

Donnelly said the Senate should keep its 60-vote requirement for breaking a filibuster on Supreme Court nominees in place, a reference to Republicans suggesting they may resort to the “nuclear” option. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Republicans, vowing to confirm Gorsuch “one way or another,” have indicated, however, they may alter the Senate rules so that ending debate on Gorsuch would only need a 51-vote simple majority. They currently hold a 52-person majority in the upper chamber and would need five additional Democrats or Independents to back Gorsuch if the rules are not changed.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden to meet with 6 GOP senators next week The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Upbeat jobs data, relaxed COVID-19 restrictions offer rosier US picture How to fast-track climate action? EPA cutting super pollutant HFCs MORE (D-N.Y.) said he will lead the fight in resisting Gorsuch.

Democrats, still reeling after former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaCensus results show White House doubling down on failure Gender politics hound GOP in Cheney drama Never underestimate Joe Biden MORE’s nominee to the court was blocked by Republicans from getting a hearing or a vote last year, have largely come out against Gorsuch. Thirty-eight Democrats have said they will oppose his nomination.

Democratic Sens. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampEffective and profitable climate solutions are within the nation's farms and forests Bill Maher blasts removal of journalist at Teen Vogue Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives MORE (N.D.) and Joe ManchinJoe ManchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Upbeat jobs data, relaxed COVID-19 restrictions offer rosier US picture Manchin on collision course with Warren, Sanders Manchin touts rating as 'most bipartisan senator' MORE (W.Va.) last week announced they will support Gorsuch's nomination.

Donnelly, like the other two Democrats, is up for re-election in 2018 in a state Trump won by a significant margin during the 2016 presidential election.

Trump won Indiana by 19 points, West Virginia by more than 40 points and North Dakota by 35 points.

--This report was updated at 2:11 p.m.