Despite the threat of a filibuster by Democrats, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley predicts U.S. Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch -will- be confirmed to the nation’s high court, likely before the weekend.
Grassley is the Republican who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee which voted Monday on party lines to recommend Gorsuch to the full Senate for approval. Democrats threaten to block that vote.
“To filibuster an exceptional nominee like this shows that the Democrats will filibuster anyone nominated by this president,” Grassley says. “If this judge is not qualified, nobody is.” While Grassley says Gorsuch has bipartisan support, Democrats should have the 41 votes needed to block his confirmation with a filibuster.
“It’s sad to say, but it’s based purely on politics,” Grassley says, “because if they were basing their votes on qualifications, it would be an easy ‘aye’ vote.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may decide to change Senate rules this week to make it so only a simple majority is needed for the confirmation of Gorsuch. That rule change is nicknamed the “nuclear” option but Grassley says he doesn’t like that term. He says the process is simply “going along with the Reid rule, adopted in 2013,” named for then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who pushed through a controversial voting rule change.
“The most precise thing I can say right now, how it happens, I don’t know, but this guy’s going to be on the Supreme Court by a vote of 56 or 57 or 58 at the most,” Grassley says, “and it’ll happen probably sometime before midnight Friday.” Grassley says Gorsuch is “mainstream, independent and he’s got a command of the law.”