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Schumer: 'Virtually impossible' to reach deal on Gorsuch

Sen. Claire McCaskill D-Mo. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Mc Caskill is warning her party it could be politically dangerous to block President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. (AP

Sen. Tammy Duckworth announced Thursday her support for the filibuster of the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Senate Democrats, led by minority leader Chuck Schumer, have indicated their intent to filibuster Gorsuch's confirmation, which could be taken up as early as next week. He lost two in his caucus Thursday when Democratic Sens.

Both West Virginia's Manchin and North Dakota's Heitkamp are up for re-election next year in states that voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

Many refuse to support Gorsuch on principal, after Republicans declined to vote on former President Barack Obama's pick of Merrick Garland to replace Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, leaving the ninth seat open for an unprecedented almost 300 days.

Senate Democrats used the rules in November 2013 for executive branch nominations and federal judicial appointments except for the Supreme Court.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Gorsuch's nomination on April 3.

"I think there is one important area in which he may actually diverge from Justice Scalia in a way that is even more encouraging to those who wish to inject unlimited sums of money in politics and that's with respect to dark money", Johnstone said. Or give Gorsuch the needed eight Democrat votes in lieu of who or what might follow if they do not? "There isn't a flawless judge", Heitkamp said.

With the filibuster gone, Trump could nominate another justice next time there's a vacancy without having to compromise with Democrats at all, and "all of a sudden, the things I fought for with scars on my back to show for it in this state are in jeopardy", McCaskill is heard saying.

Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch listens on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 22, 2017, as he testifies at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY has called for a filibuster of Gorsuch, but McCaskill predicted that if Democrats refuse to confirm Gorsuch then Republicans would likely look to eliminate the rule and reduce the number of votes needed for confirmation to 51. Once that threshold is crossed, a simple majority, or 51 votes, is all Gorsuch would require.

"It is obviously a really hard situation, that both alternatives, I think, have a lot of danger", McCaskill told reporters on Thursday. That GOP blockade of Garland was a bad precedent, and one that nearly ensures that the next time a court vacancy opens up in the final year of a president's term, the opposition party if in the Senate majority will block the nominee - whatever the merits. "Will that really benefit anybody?" asked Democratic Sen.

And yet we've got two Democrats that have managed to hold onto their office by leering as far right as they can while still under the banner of blue.