UPDATE: Democrat Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota is also a yes, saying he is fair and empathetic.
I will vote for Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Here's my full statement: pic.twitter.com/pDdhde7mGF— Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (@SenatorHeitkamp) March 30, 2017
Democrat Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia announced Thursday he will vote in favor of putting Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court.
"Senators have a constitutional obligation to advice and consent on a nominee to fill this Supreme Court vacancy and, simply put, we have a responsibility to do our jobs as elected officials. Just as I did when Merrick Garland was nominated, I met with Judge Gorsuch and evaluated his qualifications to be a justice on the Supreme Court. Judge Gorsuch has been questioned by the Judiciary Committee; Senators have met with him; and soon, we will cast our votes. After considering his record, watching his testimony in front of the Judiciary Committee and meeting with him twice, I will vote to confirm him to be the ninth justice on the Supreme Court," Manchin released in a statement.
"Supreme Court jurists should have an extensive career in law, a record of upholding the Constitution in their rulings, an established judicial philosophy and an appropriate temperament. Judge Gorsuch’s legal career has spanned from Harvard Law School, earning a doctorate in legal philosophy at Oxford, clerking for two Supreme Court Justices, working for the Department of Justice, practicing law with a private firm, and being appointed to the bench of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals over ten years ago. Throughout Judge Gorsuch’s career, he has come to his legal rulings objectively, through the letter of the law rather than through his own opinion," he continued. "During his time on the bench Judge Gorsuch has received praise from his colleagues who have been appointed by both Democrats and Republicans. He has been consistently rated as a well-qualified jurist, the highest rating a jurist can receive, and I have found him to be an honest and thoughtful man. I hold no illusions that I will agree with every decision Judge Gorsuch may issue in the future, but I have not found any reasons why this jurist should not be a Supreme Court Justice."
I will vote to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to be the ninth justice on the Supreme Court. pic.twitter.com/MpVbaqf0LB— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) March 30, 2017
The announcement comes as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer threatens a filibuster over Gorsuch's nomination, despite voting unanimously to approve his current seat as a federal judge. So far, Manchin is the only Democrat voting yes.
Over to you, Guy Benson:
Democrats have zero intellectually-defensible reasons -- none -- to sustain the first-ever partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee, but due to the demands of their extreme base and their misplaced anger over finally being held to their own standards last year, they appear to be headed in that direction anyway.