Sen. Claire McCaskill Says No to Neil Gorsuch.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO.) announced Friday that she will vote “no” for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

In a statement posted to Medium, the Senator has this to say.

“While I have come to the conclusion that I can’t support Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court  –  and will vote no on the procedural vote and his confirmation  —  I remain very worried about our polarized politics and what the future will bring, since I’m certain we will have a Senate rule change that will usher in more extreme judges in the future.”

Claire McCaskill will not vote for Neil Gorsuch, Supreme Court nominee.

Sen. McCaskill is seen here during a hearing for the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance.

The GOP had hoped to persuade McCaskill and other Democratic senators to help break a filibuster to advance Gorsuch’s nomination. Senate rules currently require 60 votes. Republicans only hold 52 seats and therefore need 8 additional votes from the other side of the aisle. So far, only Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV.) have said they’ll back Gorsuch. The current breakdown on how Senators plan to vote can be found here.

Despite earlier indications that the Senator was seemingly open-minded about the possibility of voting “yes”, her statement makes clear her position.
Republicans contemplate an extreme option.
 Having now lost McCaskill, Republicans are deciding whether to employ the “nuclear option“. This allows for a change to Senate rules to lower the voting threshold from 60 to just 51 votes. Some see this option as damaging but many Republican senators have said they’re willing to use it if Democrats block Gorsuch. The change only requires a majority of the senators present at the vote.
If employed, it will surely cause controversy in an already contentious Washington.
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