Tags: heidi heitkamp | joe manchin | neil gorsuch | supreme court

Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Manchin Support Gorsuch

Image: Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Manchin Support Gorsuch

Judge Neil Gorsuch testifies during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C., on March 22, 2017. (Kristoffer Tripplaar/Sipa via AP Images)

By    |   Friday, 31 Mar 2017 08:56 AM

Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Manchin announced Thursday their support for Neil Gorsuch to become the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court, the first Democratic U.S. senators to do so.

Heitkamp, a senator for North Dakota, and Manchin, from West Virginia, will break ranks with Democratic leadership in the branch, that has vowed to filibuster President Donald Trump's court nomination, CNN noted.

Fox News said Republican senators need the support of six Democrats to reach 60 votes and break a filibuster or face the possibility of employing a procedural tactic to change Senate precedent, called the "nuclear option," to push the nominee through.

"During his time on the bench Judge Gorsuch has received praise from his colleagues who have been appointed by both Democrats and Republicans," Manchin said in a statement Thursday supporting Gorsuch.

"He has been consistently rated as a well-qualified jurist, the highest rating a jurist can receive, and I have found him to be an honest and thoughtful man. I hold no illusions that I will agree with every decision Judge Gorsuch may issue in the future, but I have not found any reasons why this jurist should not be a Supreme Court Justice," Manchin added.

Heitkamp joined Manchin Thursday, issuing a statement across her social media platforms that she will vote for Gorsuch.

"After doing my due diligence by meeting with Judge Gorsuch and reviewing his record and testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I've decided to vote in favor of his confirmation," she said in a statement posted on Facebook.

"He has a record as a balanced, meticulous, and well respected jurist who understands the rule of law. He has unique and critical experience with tribal sovereignty, Indian law, and public lands issues in the west, and has received the endorsement of numerous tribes and major Native American organizations," she added.

In voicing their support for Gorsuch, Heitkamp and Manchin criticized Republicans for failing to hold hearings for Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's nominee to fill the vacancy left by the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia on Feb. 13, 2016, leaving the court with eight justices for more than a year.

"Senate Republicans played politics at its worst with an honorable, deeply qualified jurist – arguably the most well qualified nominee in modern history – who had long been supported by Republican and Democratic senators for his unmatched experience," Heitkamp said her statement.

"His reward: Republicans refused to give him the fair consideration he deserved – not even a hearing – and his nomination was held open for almost 300 days – by far the longest for a Supreme Court nomination," she continued.

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Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Manchin announced Thursday their support for Neil Gorsuch to become the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court, the first Democratic U.S. senators to do so.
heidi heitkamp, joe manchin, neil gorsuch, supreme court
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2017-56-31
Friday, 31 Mar 2017 08:56 AM
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