Today, two Democratic senators announced support not only for a vote for cloture on Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court but also for his confirmation.
Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia said:
After considering his record, watching his testimony in front of the Judiciary Committee and meeting with him twice, I will vote to confirm him to be the ninth justice on the Supreme Court. . . . Throughout Judge Gorsuch’s career, he has come to his legal rulings objectively, through the letter of the law rather than through his own opinion.
During his time on the bench Judge Gorsuch has received praise from his colleagues who have been appointed by both Democrats and Republicans. 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.
Senator Heidi Heitkamp from North Dakota said:
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. 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. During our meeting and at his hearing, he reinforced the importance of a judiciary that remains independent of the executive and legislative branches of government - and that acts as a proper check and balance on the other two branches of government.
Other Democratic senators demonstrated some further cracks in the hardline Trump resistance movement today. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri recognized that the Democrats' gridlock strategy for the Supreme Court is likely to backfire, and Senator Ben Cardin said that the Democrats should not filibuster Gorsuch.
Senators Heitkamp and Manchin are up for reelection in 2018 in states that voted for Donald Trump in 2016, and perhaps these senators have recognized the political consequences of voting against an eminently qualified judge like Judge Gorsuch. Perhaps they have decided to listen to their constituents instead of the radical progressive special interest groups that increasingly control the Democratic Party. Or perhaps, tellingly, they considered his extensive judicial record and made their decision on that basis, unlike their Democratic colleagues who have not bothered to review his record.
Whatever the reason, we applaud Senators Heitkamp and Manchin for questioning the blind obstruction of the current Democratic Party and for supporting an extremely well-qualified and well-respected nominee for the Supreme Court.