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Democrats in disarray: Gorsuch snubbed by Senate leaders, embraced by others

Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch, left, listens as Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., answers a reporter’s question during their meeting on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

February 03, 2017

Democrats are falling into disarray over President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch, with Senate leaders refusing to meet the acclaimed judge despite a growing parade of support from other party leaders.

While Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has ‘dissed the federal appeals judge, 20 prominent Democrats, including former President Obama’s top lawyer, have endorsed Gorsuch.

The list, provided to Secrets and shown below, included the son of former top Carter aide Hamilton Jordan who said, “Having worked closely with Judge Gorsuch as one of his law clerks, I can attest that he is a compassionate and courageous public servant who cares deeply about the rule of law and the critical role of an independent judiciary. He approaches each case as I believe a judge should: with an open mind and a real ambition to get it right. The Senate would do well to confirm him.”

Administration officials confirmed that Schumer and his leadership team won’t even grant Gorsuch a courtesy call.

He met with moderate Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and might also get audiences with moderate Democrats up for reelection in states won by Trump in 2016.

But so far only Republicans have met with the judge. Today he is scheduled to meet with Republican Sens. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Bob Corker of Tennessee, Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz of Texas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.

Those meetings, the growing support of Democrats and the Senate party leadership snub are highlighting the division inside the party.

Proponents of Gorsuch said that the division could undermine Democrat efforts to hold up to 10 seats up for reelection in the states won by Trump.

“This is confusion and disarray and they appear out of step with their own side outside of Washington,” said Gorsuch advocate Greg Mueller. “Theirs is a ‘Thelma and Louise’ scheme to drive the 2018 Democrats over the cliff,” he added.

Other advocates on Thursday blasted Schumer for erecting roadblocks to Gorsuch.

Carrie Severino, chief counsel of the Judicial Crisis Network, said, “By refusing to meet with Judge Gorsuch, Senate Democrat leadership is taking Washington gridlock and obstruction to a new low and placing Senators McCaskill, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Tester, and other Democrats up for reelection in 2018 on the endangered politicians list.”

She added, “A bipartisan chorus of support has emerged for Judge Gorsuch, a man of extraordinary legal credentials and qualifications, including from President Obama’s former Solicitor General Neal Katyal. This bipartisan support has put Democratic senators in a state of confusion and disarray.”