BREAKING: Bennet Will Vote No On Gorsuch’s Confirmation

UPDATE: The Hill:

Bennet initially opposed a Democratic filibuster of Gorsuch’s nomination, siding with Republicans in a failed vote to end debate. After Republicans changed the rules and lowered the procedural threshold from 60 votes to 51, he voted against Gorsuch.

Bennet has blamed both parties for the stalemate and added on Thursday that the decision to go “nuclear” does “lasting damage” to the Supreme Court…

With Bennet’s opposition, 45 senators are expected to vote against Gorsuch’s confirmation. Only Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Joe Donnelly (Ind.) — who are each up for reelection in red states in 2018 — are expected to join Republicans in their support.


Sen. Michael Bennet (D)

Sen. Michael Bennet’s long-awaited statement just released moments ago via the Colorado Independent, Colorado’s senior U.S. Senator will be voting against the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court:

Today’s changes to the Senate’s rules have done lasting damage to the Supreme Court and our process for approving nominees. With these changes, justices may now be confirmed with the narrowest partisan majority. Allowing the judiciary to become a pure extension of our partisan politics is precisely the outcome our Founders feared. Moving forward, lifetime appointments to our highest court could become just another political exercise.

We cannot ignore this new reality, and I am forced to consider President Trump’s current nominee – and all future nominees – in that context.

I am proud Judge Gorsuch is from Colorado. He is a qualified judge who deserves an up-or-down vote. That is the tradition of the Senate, and it is why I opposed a filibuster before the rule change.

Judge Gorsuch is a very conservative judge and not one that I would have chosen. For the reasons I made in my floor speech, I had concerns about his approach to the law. Those concerns grow even more significant as we confront the reality that President Trump may have several more opportunities to transform the Court with a partisan majority.

For all these reasons, I will vote no on the nomination.

Bennet’s decision to oppose Gorsuch’s nomination puts an end to weeks of pressure from both sides, and should go a long way to restoring trust in Bennet among the Colorado Democratic base. Again, Democrats had the votes needed to mount the now-crushed filibuster of Gorsuch without Bennet, which left Bennet free to argue for the preservation of the Senate’s deliberative traditions. That argument was unsuccessful, but now Bennet can claim the high ground as he casts his vote against Gorsuch on the merits.

And yes, barring something no one expects at this point Neil Gorsuch will now be confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. It was always really a question of how that would happen, not if, and what kind of resistance would be possible on the way to that inevitability. We’d say opponents acquitted themselves as well as they possibly could under bleak circumstances.

As of tomorrow afternoon, it’s all over–except some shouting, and of course decades of Gorsuch on the court.

12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. gumshoe says:

    …so yes, Bennet is voting "no," but that both ways statement must have been crafted by Cory Gardner himself. 

  2. ModeratusModeratus says:

    What a shame. Bennet had the chance to go all the way in support of Colorado, and he sold out to Chuckie Schumer.

  3. Andrew Carnegie says:

    Predicable. Bennet needs to pretend he is in the middle.  By now the dye is cast.

  4. ZappateroZappatero says:

    Bennet's entire experience in the US Senate has been with the despicable Radical Republican McConnell, his henchmen, and hench women.

    He's always pined for the good old days when bipartisanship reigned and R's and D's got along for the greater good.

    Except that wasn't what it was like the good old days. 


    Republicans freaked out with Obama's election and went filibuster crazy. Did Bennet notice none of it?  Hardly. Instead, he pretended “both sides” were the same even as his eyes should have told him otherwise.

    Frankly, this whole "cloture" vote/thing has been an excuse for Bennet not to take any controversial stands, and if this forces him to step up and represent Colorado more honestly, then he should welcome it.


  5. ZappateroZappatero says:

    Bennet sure has made a national name for himself-as the wimpiest, most clueless Democrat around.

    Sure, a small handful with sponges for spines tried to play "bipartisan," (with Colorado's Michael Bennet getting dishonorable mention for trying to split the baby, he didn't join the filibuster, but then voted against moving forward on the nomination under the new majority vote rule), but the majority stood by their principles, recognized reality and—this is the most important part—did what we asked them to in filibustering the nominee.

    We're seeing an evolution in our Democrats, one pushed into the 21st century by the new generation of senators, like Jeff Merkley (D-OR), who showed everyone how Senate opposition is supposed to be done by standing on the floor and talking for 15 and a half hours about why this nomination should go down. We're seeing it in Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who gets that it's about the people.

    I still have to go way back to the day he was asked, and ask why did Michael Bennet want this job in the first place?  

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