Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch's answers show he's an "acolyte of the hard right groups," and have become more evasive as his confirmation hearings continued, Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Monday, explaining why he won't vote for him this week.
"There's been a palpable shift since the beginning of these hearings, because Neil Gorsuch was so evasive," the Connecticut Democrat told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "I put to him very clear opportunities to confirm that he agrees with Brown v. Board of Education on desegregation ... Roe v. Wade. He refused to say he agreed with them."
That was unlike many others nominees who had said they thought the decisions had been decided correctly, "so I think that we're left with the inescapable conclusion that he agrees with the Trump litmus test, that he would automatically overturn Roe vs. Wade," said Blumenthal.
Also, Gorsuch was suggested by conservative groups such as the Heritage Foundation, said Blumenthal, and that shows he would not "be a neutral caller of balls and strikes."
If Democrats stage a filibuster against Gorsuch, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to use a "nuclear" rules change option that would not require the nominee to get 60 votes for confirmation. Blumenthal, though, said there is a "significance to principle and conviction," and Democrats are seeking to fight a nominee that would overturn many protections Americans enjoy.
"Neil Gorsuch came across as 'awe shucks, I just follow the law,'" said Blumenthal. "But they [Republicans] know and understand the reasons that we oppose him. And I think they have reservations about embarking on a course that could change forever the rules and practices of the United States."
Further, Blumenthal said he would not be willing to reach a deal on cloture for Gorsuch.
"I believe that Neil Gorsuch should be declined, should be disapproved as a nominee," the senator said. "I will vote no on Neil Gorsuch. I would not accept a deal that preserves the 60-vote threshold at the cost of having on the court someone who refuses to say whether he agrees with core constitutional resets."
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