Sen. Tester: It's 'Important' to Give Gorsuch a 'Fair Shake'

February 16, 2017

Sen. Jon Tester (D., Mont.) argued Thursday that President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee should get a "fair shake" in the Senate in an apparent break from Senate Democratic leadership, which has suggested filibustering Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination.

"I think it's important that we give Neil Gorsuch a fair shake," Tester said in a new video.

He explained that Gorsuch "presents himself very, very well," adding that he is not sure whether he will vote for the judge but needs to study the nominee's past rulings further.

Tester's comments contrasted with the views of many Senate Democrats, some of whom have already vowed to vocally oppose Gorsuch's nomination and filibuster a confirmation vote if necessary.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) wrote in Politico last week that Gorsuch needs 60 votes in the chamber to be confirmed, appearing to suggest that a filibuster effort is possible. Schumer also rebuked a potential tactic that Senate Republicans could use called the "nuclear option," which would allow Gorsuch to be confirmed with a simple 51-vote majority.

"If the nominee fails to meet 60 votes, the answer isn't to change the rules; it's to change the nominee," Schumer wrote.

But not every Democrat has fallen in line. Prior to Tester’s statement, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.) called for an up-or-down vote on Gorsuch, which would bypass Democratic efforts to obstruct his nomination.