Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) have broken ranks with their obstructionist party, announcing they will vote to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Manchin got the ball rolling by issuing a statement in which he said it is the Congress’s “responsibility to do our jobs as elected officials” and “cast our votes” on Gorsuch.

“After considering his record, watching his testimony in front of the Judiciary Committee and meeting with him twice,” the West Virginia Democrat said, “I will vote to confirm him to be the ninth justice on the Supreme Court.”

 

Heitkamp quickly followed suit, announcing she too would vote in the affirmative for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

Via The Hill:

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) on Thursday became the second Senate Democrat to say she will vote for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, joining Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

“After doing my due diligence by meeting with Judge Gorsuch and reviewing his record and testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I’ve decided to vote in favor of his confirmation,” Heitkamp said in a statement.

She added that Gorsuch is “balanced, meticulous, and [a] well respected jurist who understands the rule of law.”

Heitkamp’s announcement came moments after Manchin became the first Senate Democrat to say he will back Gorsuch.

Both Heitkamp and Manchin are up for reelection in 2018, and both hail from states that were handily won by Trump in the 2016 election. Their election prospects may have forced their hand in reaching a non-partisan conclusion.

A third Democrat, Joe Donnelly, has now said he will support Gorsuch as well.

In order to reach the 60-vote threshold insisted upon by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to confirm the nominee, Gorsuch would need the backing of six more Democrats.

Other Democrats in red states facing voters in the mid-terms include Claire McCaskill (MO) and Joe Donnelly (IN).

Leading congressional Republicans such as Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain have already indicated they’d be willing to follow the President’s direction and invoke the ‘nuclear option,’ a move that would abolish the 60-vote requirement for Supreme Court nominees and only require 51 votes.

Will at least six more Democrats come to their senses in time and confirm a man whom Manchin and Heitkamp both agree is eminently qualified?

“I have not found any reasons why this jurist should not be a Supreme Court Justice,” Manchin concluded.

Read more at the Political Insider