February 2, 2017

McCaskill And Tester Already Talking About Obstructing Gorsuch

Gridlock and obstruction are not a winning campaign messages. Yet two Democratic Senators, up for re-election next year, Claire McCaskill and Jon Tester, seem to be betting that they can get away with trying to block a Supreme Court pick and still win re-election. Already both Senators seem to be laying the groundwork for an attempted filibuster against Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch. Given the margin Hillary Clinton lost both Missouri and Montana this type of action is something voters will remember.

Speaking with CNN, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) is already talking about not voting for cloture, and thus blocking an up and down vote, on Gorsuch’s nomination:

“Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat likely to face a tough re-election battle, said she was still deciding whether to support Gorsuch. ‘I can’t imagine I would vote for cloture if I don’t want him to be the nominee,’ she told CNN.”

Likewise, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) is already laying the groundwork to defend his vote to filibuster Gorsuch:

“And Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, another Democrat being targeted by Republicans, said he was still reviewing Gorsuch’s record but, like McCaskill, would not vote to end a filibuster if he ultimately opposed the nominee. ‘If I don’t like the guy, I won’t vote for cloture,’ he said.”

Additionally, Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) looks ready to defy the will of voters in North Dakota:

“’I’m going to do what I think is right in my state,’ said North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp. ‘I don’t think my state gave their Senate vote to President Trump.’”

In addition to being obstructionists, McCaskill and Tester are also hypocrites. Last year both Senators were clear voices opposed to denying a vote for a Supreme Court nomination, with McCaskill going so far as to say that the Constitution mandated an up or down vote in the Senate. This level of obstruction and hypocrisy will be a clear sign to both Senator’s constituents that they are no longer able to function as Senators.