Washington. The U.S. Senate on Monday is expected to advance President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, to a full Senate vote later in the week, setting up a political showdown as Democrats seek to block his confirmation, underlining Trump’s administration is in a weak position to achieve it’s goals.
If Gorsuch is confirmed to fill a vacancy created by the February 2016 death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, the appeals court judge would restore the nine-seat high court’s conservative majority, fulfilling one of Trump’s top campaign promises. But many see it as an uphill battle.
Republican senators hold an 11-9 majority on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is considering Gorsuch’s nomination, and control the full Senate by 52-48. But Democrats are planning to use a procedural speed bump called a filibuster that requires 60 votes to allow a confirmation vote.
To date, only 3 Democrats have said they will vote for Gorsuch with 37 others on record against his nomination to the court.
Senate Democrats say they oppose Gorsuch because of his judicial record on the Denver U.S. appeals court over the past decade. They say he favors corporations over workers and would support lifting restrictions on election spending.
Other Democrats also complained that during his two days of testimony before the Judiciary Committee, Gorsuch failed to give direct answers to questions.
Political analysts say Democrats are also still angry that the Republican led Senate refused last year to consider the Democratic President Barack Obama nomination of Merrick Garland to fill Scalia’s seat.
If confirmed Gorsuch would immediately be seated in the middle of the high court’s term, which runs from October to June. If his nomination wins approval on Friday, he would be able to participate in the court’s next round of oral arguments starting on April 17th.