If Senate Republicans do agree and decide to "go nuclear", they could eliminate senators' ability to filibuster Supreme Court nominations, ending Democrats' filibuster of Gorsuch.
The Democratic leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer of NY, was among five senators to declare their opposition to Gorsuch on Thursday, even before the Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination had ended.
While Republicans are saying that Gorsuch has applied the law to facts in every case without personal opinion or politics, Democrats are pointing to a number of cases where they believe Gorsuch expressed an interest in corporations over individual plaintiffs.
"After careful deliberation, I have concluded that I can not support Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court", Schumer said.
"When anyone criticizes the honesty or integrity or motives of a federal judge, I find that disheartening and demoralizing", Gorsuch said. "He was groomed by the Federalist Society and has shown not one inch of difference between his views and theirs". I supported the Senate's holding a vote on Merrick Garland, a well-qualified candidate.
A committee evaluating Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court contacted nearly 5,000 people nationwide who might have knowledge of his qualifications before unanimously giving him a well-qualified rating.
If Gorsuch is confirmed, he would restore a 5-4 conservative majority on the Supreme Court, a key goal of Republicans.
It's frustrating that so many minimize opposition to Gorsuch as merely the payback for Garland the Democratic base yearns for.
A gay rights legal specialist, however, told the senators Gorsuch "cannot be given a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court".
"There has never, in the history of the Republic, ever been a successful partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee", he added. Unless the Senate holds a weekend session for its Gorsuch confirmation vote, the final vote - if it survives the filibuster - could be on Friday, April 7.
For Democrats, putting up a fight would at least frustrate Trump and placate liberal activists sore about the Republican-led Senate's refusal to vote on President Barack Obama's nominee to the same open seat on the court past year.
Democrats Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Elizabeth Warren of MA and Ed Markey of MA have declared their opposition. They examined his qualifications based on integrity, professional competence and temperament. Schumer said the 49-year-old Coloradan would not serve as a check on Trump or be a mainstream justice. Orrin Hatch said he hadn't seen a better nominee in 40 years in the Senate.
Some decidedly old-fashioned words and phrases made repeated appearances in Gorsuch's opening remarks and answers to questions. The other is to gain the support of enough Democrats to defeat the filibuster and win a cloture vote by getting eight Democrats to vote with the Republican majority.
Judge Gorsuch understands that the protections set forth in our Constitution, including the separation of powers, federalism and the Bill of Rights, provide Americans with an indispensable safeguard against government overreach.
The panel will hear from the American Bar Association, which has already given him a unanimous "well qualified" rating, along with former colleagues and judges supporting him and advocacy groups like the Human Rights Campaign that have opposed him. The deal centered on three vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.