Sen. Shaheen Calls for Up-or-Down Vote on Trump's SCOTUS Nominee

February 8, 2017

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.) broke away from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y) and other Democrats on Tuesday when she called for an up-or-down vote on President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch.

"To suggest that we should not get a fair hearing on the nominee to the Supreme Court, Mr. Judge Gorsuch, I think is just not something that's going to be good for the American people," Shaheen said on the Senate floor.

Shaheen then called out Senate Republicans for not holding an up-or-down vote for former President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, last year.

"Unlike the Republican majority, I haven't heard any Democrats saying we don't think that Judge Gorsuch should get a hearing or that he should get an up-or-down vote. Everybody I've talked to agrees he should get a hearing and an up-or-down vote," Shaheen said.

Several Democrats, however, have said that they will oppose Gorsuch's nomination and work to filibuster a confirmation vote if necessary–including progressive Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), and Sherrod Brown (Ohio). Schumer, the Senate's top Democrat, has said that Gorsuch must receive 60 votes from the Senate to be confirmed and has suggested a filibuster is not out of the question.

Shaheen's call for an up-or-down vote would mean a direct "yay" or "nay" vote on Gorsuch without any obstruction, differing herself from some of her Democratic colleagues. Her sentiments echo recent comments made by Sen. Joe Manchin (D., Wv.), who criticized Senate Democrats last week for potentially trying to torpedo Gorsuch's nomination, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

"I'm anxious to sit down with the new nominee and find out more about him, to find out basically to look at his judicial rulings and have more of an idea of what's going on," Manchin said. "If you want the third branch of government to work, then you got to have a nine-member Supreme Court."

"If Republicans did something and now Democrats are going to do something, two wrongs don't make a right," Manchin added.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) has said he will block any nominee "out of the mainstream," and Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Jeff Merkley (Ore.) have vowed to oppose Gorsuch and potentially try and filibuster his confirmation vote.