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Shaheen, Hassan to say 'no' to Gorsuch on Supreme Court, will support Dem filibuster

New Hampshire Union Leader

March 28. 2017 5:48PM
Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen 

WASHINGTON — Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, D-NH, both announced Tuesday they would vote against Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and would support a filibuster, raising the voter threshold needed to confirm him.

Shaheen said the federal Judge Gorsuch had a “very alarming record” of favoring big business over employees and she questioned his support for legal abortion rights and campaign finance reform.

“When President Obama nominated Judge Garland, Republican leadership immediately blocked his nomination, preventing a hearing and a vote. Despite this unprecedented obstruction by the Republican majority, I remain committed to upholding the constitution’s instruction to advise and consent on Supreme Court nominations,” Shaheen said in a statement.

“As Judge Gorsuch’s nomination comes to the floor, I will support a 60-vote threshold for approval, an appropriate high bar that has been met by seven of the eight current Supreme Court justices.”

Hassan issued a similar statement 90 minutes after Shaheen released hers.

“Judge Gorsuch is not in the mainstream, Hassan said. “He has not shown a commitment to protecting the rights of all Americans, and he does not seem to always fully consider the consequences his decisions have on real lives. I will vote against this nomination, and I support maintaining the traditional 60-vote threshold for confirming Supreme Court nominees.”

Republican State Chairwoman Jeanie Forrester said both Shaheen and Hassan were playing politics and working in lockstep with national Democratic leaders determined to try and block President Trump’s choice.

“Time and again Maggie Hassan promised she’d be an independent voice in the U.S. Senate,” Forrester said.

“The truth is, she is serving her party’s leadership in Washington and its extreme left wing. This is pure politics.”

After Shaheen privately interviewed Gorsuch, the two-term Democrat made clear that top priorities for her were Gorsuch’s views on upholding the Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion and whether he would seek altering the Citizens United decision that has expanded unlimited, private money on political campaigns.

“In addition, he has a very alarming record of putting the interests of large corporations over those of their employees,” Shaheen said.

“I was also disheartened by his evasive answers to questions regarding the Citizens United decision, which has dramatically increased the amount of secret money in politics.”

Hassan raised similar concerns to Shaheen’s after she interviewed Gorsuch.

It will take 60 votes to break a filibuster on Gorsuch’s nomination but Senate Republican leaders have said they may invoke the “nuclear option” that would allow President Trump’s choice to need only a simple majority.

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