WASHINGTON Two U.S. Democratic senators on Friday voiced their opposition to President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, ahead of an expected contentious confirmation fight next week on the U.S. Senate floor.
“Today, we still know very little about Judge Gorsuch’s core beliefs … he has left us with substantial doubt,” Senator Richard Blumenthal said in a statement, adding the judge had not been forthcoming with senators about his views on key issues.
Separately Democratic Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii said Gorsuch’s record as a judge was troubling and he had not shown that he would challenge executive overreach.
“His refusal to answer questions on long-decided cases or condemn attacks on the judiciary during the hearing demonstrates that he is outside of the legal mainstream,” Schatz said.
Their statements come a day after the first two Democrats said they would back Trump’s pick, giving Republicans who control the chamber two of the eight Democratic votes they need to avoid a fight.
Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, two Democrats who face reelection in states that voted for Trump last year, on Thursday said they would vote for Gorsuch.
Most Democrats have said they would support blocking a confirmation vote using a procedural hurdle called a filibuster that requires 60 votes to allow a confirmation vote, although some want to avoid such a move.
The confirmation vote itself would require a simple majority in the chamber, which Republicans control 52-48.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote on sending Gorsuch’s nomination to the Senate floor on April 3. Republican Senate leaders hope to confirm him on April 7.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey and Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Bernadette Baum)