A confirmation vote on whether to seat Judge Neil Gorsuch on the U.S. Supreme Court is on the horizon, and a look at the people already lining up against him might be instructive, because if they don’t want him, he just might be the best man for the job.
Thursday saw Washington State’s Sen. Maria Cantwell join the opposition, siding with fellow liberal Democrat Sen. Patty Murray and veteran anti-gun New York Sen. Charles Schumer. None of these people ever saw a restrictive gun control proposal they didn’t immediately like, and that says a lot about their decision to vote against Gorsuch, who has been described as a constitutional “originalist.”
Friday morning’s edition of The Hill identifies a handful of Democrats upon whom it suggests readers keep a watchful eye. Already, the publication notes, two centrist Democrats – Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota – have announced they will vote for confirmation. Not much of a surprise there because both of those states are considered “gun country” and both face re-election in 2018.
The people to watch, according to The Hill, are Senators Angus King of Maine (Independent), and Democrats Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Jon Tester from Montana, Chris Coons of Delaware, Colorado’s Michael Bennet, Claire McCaskill from Missouri, Mark Warner of Virginia, Vermont’s Patrick Leahy and California’s Dianne Feinstein.
Liberal anti-gunners obviously do not want Gorsuch on the Supreme Court because he would restore the balance and – say some supporters – fill the shoes of the late Antonin Scalia well. Whether that is accurate or wishful thinking may not be as important as the indisputable angst of Schumer, Murray and their colleagues at the prospect of Gorsuch being confirmed.
Murray, Cantwell and Schumer were all in the Senate in 2006 when Gorsuch was unanimously confirmed to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, the Seattle Times noted. He apparently hasn’t changed his judicial philosophy since then, so one might presume that all three Democrats are simply playing very partisan politics.
According to Rasmussen Reports, a majority of likely voters think partisan politics will only get worse, so the Gorsuch fight might just be part of the opening round.