46 democrats and

two independents

Democrats need 41 votes to maintain a filibuster

52 republicans

Republicans need

eight Democratic votes to break a filibuster

Republicans need

eight Democratic votes to break a filibuster

Democrats need 41 votes to maintain a filibuster

46 democrats and

two independents

52 republicans

As of Monday night, Democrats have the votes they need to block Gorsuch’s nomination from getting a full vote.

Support a filibuster 44

Undecided or unknown 0

Leaning against 0

Against a filibuster 4

Support a filibuster 44

Undecided or unknown 0

Leaning against 0

Against a filibuster 4

41 votes

The Senate is barreling toward an epic throwdown over the filibuster and Supreme Court nominees that could change the Senate forever.

Senators will vote this week on whether to confirm President Trump's nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, to the ninth Supreme Court seat, which was left vacant by justice Antonin Scalia’s death more than a year ago.

More than 40 Senate Democrats will block Gorsuch from getting a yes-or-no vote by filibustering his nomination. To overcome a filibuster, 60 senators rather than a simple majority must agree to move forward to that final vote, and as of Tuesday morning, Democrats have enough votes (41 was the minimum, they have at least 43) to stop his nomination from moving forward.

That could lay the tripwire for Republicans to just get rid of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees entirely, so that a minority party can't block a yes-or-no vote on a Supreme Court nominee anymore. (In 2013, Senate Democrats undid the filibuster for most political and judicial nominees but left the 60-vote threshold in place for Supreme Court nominees.)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has indicated that he would get rid of the filibuster to put Gorsuch on the bench, although it's unclear whether he has enough votes to reform the centuries-old rule. (That's a different whip count entirely.)

There’s no rule that says a Supreme Court nominee has to get 60 votes to get confirmed. Like everything before the Senate, Gorsuch needs to get a simple majority – so 51 if all 100 senators vote. Historically, Supreme Court nominees have easily sailed past that. But Supreme Court nominations have become more partisan lately. And Democrats are on their way to pulling off the first successful partisan filibuster in Supreme Court history by putting Gorsuch through a filibuster and making sure he doesn't have enough votes to clear it.

Here are the Democratic senators who will filibuster Gorsuch and force a potentially historic throwdown over getting rid of the filibuster for nominees entirely.

Names highlighted in blue have changed their position the week of Gorsuch’s vote, April 3-7.

Support a filibuster 44

Democrats who have publicly said they would filibuster the vote on Gorsuch’s nomination.

Tammy Baldwin (Wis.)

"President Trump and his nominee need to earn 60 votes in the Senate. I will not be one of them," she told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Feb. 2. Read more »

Richard Blumenthal (Conn.)

"The Supreme Court is more than marble pillars and judicial robes," he wrote in a March 31 op-ed in the Hartford Courant. "It is the embodiment of American justice — justice that has a human face and voice. Its decisions must ensure that the rule of law is preserved for real people, and that our Constitution continues to protect us from overreach and tyranny. That is why it is important that a nominee to the Supreme Court be approved by more than 60 votes, not a razor thin partisan majority." Read more »

Cory Booker (N.J.)

"I'm going to oppose Judge Gorsuch every step of the way. A 60-vote threshold is not something new for Supreme Court nominees to overcome. It helps ensure that presidents seek nominees whose views are in the mainstream," he told NJ.com on Feb. 5. Read more »

Sherrod Brown (Ohio)

"The people of Ohio deserve Supreme Court Justices who will defend the rights of working families over Wall Street and corporate special interests – and Judge Gorsuch’s record doesn’t pass that test,” Brown said in a statement Jan. 31 after Trump nominated Gorsuch. “I cannot support any nominee who does not recognize that corporations are not people." Read more »

Maria Cantwell (Wash.)

"Many difficult issues will come before the court in the months and years ahead. We need a U.S. Supreme Court justice who will stand up for equal justice for all. I still have questions and concerns about Judge Gorsuch. Therefore, I cannot support cloture and will not support the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court," she said in a statement March 30. Read more »

Benjamin L. Cardin (Md.)

“I cannot support cloture for [Judge Gorsuch,]” Cardin tweeted on April 3. “Republicans are responsible for making this process untenable -- and for the consequences." In another tweet: "'m voting no on cloture b/c I don't believe #Gorsuch would be an independent check on @POTUS, who has tested the Constitution like no other." Read more »

Thomas R. Carper (Del.)

Carper's office told The Washington Post he does not support moving forward on Gorsuch unless there is an agreement to move forward on President Obama's nominee for the court, Judge Merrick Garland. "I'm not prepared to consider the nomination of Judge Gorsuch," he told Delaware Public Radio on March 24. " ... [T]o move forward on Judge Gorsuch, I would just kind of ignore what happened for the last year with Merrick Garland, I think would be wrong." Read more »

Robert P. Casey Jr. (Pa.)

Here's what he wrote in a March 23 statement posted on Medium: " We cannot demand perfection from Supreme Court justices. But we can demand a constant commitment to fairness, to protecting all Americans regardless of power or wealth, to that guiding creed: equal justice under law. I have concluded that Judge Gorsuch is not the right choice to fulfill this commitment. I will not support his nomination." Read more »

Christopher A. Coons (Del.)

"I am not ready to end debate on this issue, so I will be voting against cloture unless there is some path forward between Republicans and Democrats, we can trust that allows us to have confidence they will not change the rules on this confirmation," he said in a statement April 3 in the Senate Judiciary Committee, announcing he would be voting against Gorsuch to get out of the committee.

Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.)

The senator had hoped to meet Gorsuch before making a decision. On March 30, Cortez Masto told the Nevada Independent: "Unfortunately, after requesting a meeting with the Judge for several weeks, he has refused to honor this request,” Cortez Masto said. “The U.S. Constitution has entrusted the Senate with the role of advising the President on the highest court of the land and in refusing to meet with me, he has disrespected our nation’s founding principles and pillars core to our democratic institutions." Read more »

Tammy Duckworth (Ill.)

"Judge Gorsuch had serveral opportunities to explain himself, his past positions and his judicial philosophy, but he did not," she said in a statement March 30. Read more »

Richard J. Durbin (Ill.)

"With the legal and constitutional issues haunting this White House, the Senate cannot rubber stamp a lifetime appointment for this President," Senate Democrats' No. 2 said in a series of tweets and a speech on the Senate floor on March 28. Read more »

Dianne Feinstein (Calif.)

"I cannot support his nomination," she said April 3 in the Senate Judiciary Committee, indicating she would also support a filibuster.

Al Franken (Minn.)

“I’ll say this again: at this moment in our nation’s history, we need a Supreme Court justice who has earned a reputation for working to build consensus—someone like Merrick Garland, who, although rightfully nominated by President Obama, was treated disgracefully by Senate Republicans and denied a hearing and a vote. Judge Gorsuch is not a consensus nominee like Merrick Garland and he should not be confirmed," he said in a March 27 statement and Facebook announcement. Read more »

Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.)

Her spokesman said March 28 she will join the filibuster.

Kamala D. Harris (Calif.)

"President Trump’s nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, certainly has a paper resume that would impress legal scholars. But his rulings repeatedly have failed to achieve justice for all Americans," she wrote in a March 23 San Francisco Chronicle op-ed. Her office confirmed she will vote against advancing his nomination. Read more »

Margaret Wood Hassan (N.H.)

"Judge Gorsuch is not in the mainstream," she said in a Medium post March 28. "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." Read more »

Martin Heinrich (N.M.)

"I share many of the concerns New Mexicans have expressed about Judge Gorsuch," he wrote in a March 29 statement. "In particular, I’m concerned about his record of siding with large corporations over the rights of individuals and government action over the rights of citizens, and his boundless deference to executive power. For these reasons, I intend to oppose his nomination and cannot support advancing the nominee under these circumstances." Read more »

Mazie Hirono (Hawaii)

"I have concluded that I will not be supporting Neil Gorsuch for this opening and so I very much support a 60-vote threshold," she told CNN on March 27. Read more »

Tim Kaine (Va.)

"Judge Gorsuch unquestionably has an impressive professional and educational background, but a nominee to the Supreme Court must also demonstrate sound judicial philosophy," he wrote in a March 29 statement. "Judge Gorsuch's selective activism in restricting women's rights and his framing of women making their own health decisions as 'the wrongdoing of others' are jarring and do not demonstrate a philosophy that belongs on the Supreme Court. I will oppose his nomination." Read more »

Angus King* (Maine)

King said in a statement, “If Judge Gorsuch is ultimately confirmed, I sincerely hope my concerns and fears will be proven wrong; I would be delighted if this is the case. But in good conscience, I must vote my convictions and not my hopes – and my convictions in this case tell me ‘no’.”

Amy Klobuchar (Minn.)

Klobuchar has announced she will not support his nomination and said through a spokeswoman she "strongly supports a 60-vote threshold." Klobuchar sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee that reviewed Gorsuch's nomination.

Patrick J. Leahy (Vt.)

"I've often said the Senate, at its best, can be and should be the conscience of the nation. But I must first and foremost must vote my conscience," he said in a statement April 3 in the Senate Judiciary Committee. "My conscience will not allow me to ratify the majority leader's actions. Not last year not this year. I will not -- I cannot -- support advancing this nomination." Read more »

Edward J. Markey (Mass.)

"As an Appeals Court judge for more than a decade, Judge Gorsuch has authored or joined opinions that have demonstrated hostility to women’s reproductive rights, commonsense environmental regulations, and the rights of workers, consumers, and the disabled. I will not support the nomination of Judge Gorsuch," he said in a Jan. 31 statement. “I am also deeply concerned that President Trump has expressed his desire for the Senate to change the rules governing the threshold vote for confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice nominee. I will fight steps to invoke the nuclear option for Judge Gorsuch’s nomination or any efforts that would further erode the foundational pillars of our democratic process. Read more »

Claire McCaskill (Mo.)

"While I have come to the conclusion that I can’t support Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court — and will vote no on the procedural vote and his confirmation — I remain very worried about our polarized politics and what the future will bring, since I’m certain we will have a Senate rule change that will usher in more extreme judges in the future," she wrote in a March 31 statement. Read more »

Robert Menendez (N.J.)

"I had hoped President Trump would nominate an uncontroversial, mainstream judge to the Supreme Court. Instead, he has chosen a nominee who, after long reflection and in hearing from my constituents, I cannot support," he wrote in an April 3 statement.

Jeff Merkley (Ore.)

“This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat,” Merkley told Politico on Jan. 30. “We will use every lever in our power to stop this.” Read more »

Chris Murphy (Conn.)

"The Roberts Court has swung dramatically in favor of the rights of corporations and special interests over those of individual Americans. I would have supported a mainstream nominee, but the risk that Judge Gorsuch will inject his political judgment into a process that already too often favors the rights of special interests or corporations over the rights of individuals is too great for him to earn my support," he said in a statement March 28. His office said he will vote "no" on cloture.

Patty Murray (Wash.)

"[T]his nomination is not a normal nomination," she said in a statement March 24. "First, the process to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court began more than 12 months ago, when President Obama upheld his constitutional duty to nominate a well-qualified nominee, Judge Merrick Garland. Senate Republicans refused to do their job and refused to hold a single hearing. Second, since taking office two months ago, President Trump has demonstrated complete disregard for law, the U.S. Constitution, and the best interests of American families Read more »

Bill Nelson (Fla.)

Over the past few weeks, I have met with Judge Gorsuch, listened to the Judiciary Committee’s hearings and reviewed his record with an open mind," he said in a statement March 27. "I have real concerns with his thinking on protecting the right to vote and allowing unlimited money in political campaigns. In addition, the judge has consistently sided with corporations over employees, as in the case of a freezing truck driver who, contrary to common sense, Judge Gorsuch would have allowed to be fired for abandoning his disabled rig during extreme weather conditions." Read more »

Gary Peters (Mich.)

A Peters spokeswoman said March 28 he will vote "no" on cloture for Gorsuch and thus join the filibuster. "Whether it is ruling against children who want an equal opportunity to get a quality education or women who want access to health care, Judge Gorsuch often fails to take into account the human face behind each case. He has also failed to acknowledge how deeply the Citizens United decision has corrupted our government by opening the floodgates for special interest money to pour into our elections. Serving on the U.S. Supreme Court requires more than education and experience, and I am extremely concerned that Judge Gorsuch’s judicial approach is out of step with mainstream American values. After careful consideration of Judge Gorsuch’s comments and his record, I cannot support his nomination to serve on our nation’s highest court," he said in a March 28 statement. Read more »

Jack Reed (R.I.)

"If Judge Gorsuch is confirmed to the Supreme Court, I worry he would try to circumscribe voting rights and consumer protections and impose new constraints on civil liberties and women’s health care and roll back clean air laws," he said in a March 24 statement. “I will vote no on cloture and no on his nomination." Read more »

Bernie Sanders* (Vt.)

"I had looked forward to Judge Neil Gorsuch sharing his views on the Supreme Court’s critical role on some of the most important issues in America. Instead, he refused to answer legitimate questions and brought the confirmation process to a new low in a thick fog of evasion," he said in a March 23 statement. "After careful consideration of Judge Gorsuch’s record, I have concluded that I will not vote to confirm him to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court, and I will not support Republican efforts to change the rules to choke off debate and ram the nomination through the Senate." Read more »

Brian Schatz (Hawaii)

"I have decided that I will not support his confirmation to the Supreme Court, and I will oppose any and all efforts to advance his nomination," he said in a March 31 statement.

Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.)

"If this nominee cannot earn 60 votes — a bar met by each of President Obama’s nominees and George Bush’s last two nominees — the answer isn’t to change the rules. It’s to change the nominee," he said in a March 23 speech on the Senate floor Read more »

Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.)

"After meeting with Judge Gorsuch and reviewing his record and testimony, I cannot support his nomination to serve on the Supreme Court,” she said in a statement March 28. “His record on women’s reproductive rights is very troubling and, despite the many questions raised to him during his nomination hearing, he did not provide any assurances that he would defend the important precedent of Roe v. Wade. I cannot support a Supreme Court justice who would turn back the clock on women’s reproductive rights Read more »

Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)

"After reviewing Judge Gorsuch's rulings, it is clear that he has a long record of siding with special interests and institutions instead of hard-working Americans. And, therefore, in my judgment, he does not meet this standard of balance and impartiality," she said in a March 28 statement. Her office elaborated Stabenow will join Democrats' filibuster of Gorsuch by voting "no" on cloture. Read more »

Jon Tester (Mont.)

"Judge Gorsuch is a smart man but that doesn’t make him right for a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court. I cannot support a nominee who refuses to answer important questions. With Judge Gorsuch on the bench, I am deeply concerned that dark money will continue to drown out the voices and votes of citizens, the Court will stand between women and their doctors, and the government will reach into the private lives of law-abiding Americans. These are not Montana values, which is why I cannot support this nomination," he said in a statement and Medium post on April 2. Read more »

Tom Udall (N.M.)

"Every recent Supreme Court nominee has received at least 60 votes either for cloture or confirmation. Judge Gorsuch will be subject to the same test, and therefore, I will vote no on his confirmation, including cloture," he said in a March 24 statement. "Republican leadership obstructed President Obama's nominee for this seat in an unprecedented fashion. Then President Trump won the election while losing the popular vote. In light of these factors, the president and Republican leadership should negotiate with Democrats on a fair path forward rather than rushing the confirmation process for Judge Gorsuch. I believe Judge Garland could have won 60 votes had he been allowed to make his case before the Senate. And I still hope that there's a way to ensure he is seated." Read more »

Chris Van Hollen (Md.)

"After the Senate’s unprecedented abdication of constitutional responsibility with respect to the Garland nomination, we must begin to restore faith in the Supreme Court. That requires a nominee who is widely viewed to be an impartial administrator of justice – someone who is truly in the mainstream and who can earn the support of at least 60 senators. I will insist that this nominee be held to that standard," he said in a March 28 statement emailed to reporters. Read more »

Mark R. Warner (Va.)

"Despite his impressive academic credentials, Judge Gorsuch's record and evasive responses -- even refusing to answer questions regarding his views of cases like Roe v. Wade and Citizens United -- do not give me confidence that he possesses a judicial philosophy that will serve the American public well," he said in a statement April 3. Read more »

Elizabeth Warren (Mass.)

"At a moment when the awesome power of the presidency is in the hands of someone who has shown contempt for our Constitution, our independent judiciary, our free press, and the principles that make our nation a beacon of democracy, this decision is more consequential than at any time in recent history," she said in a March 20 op-ed in The Boston Globe. "We cannot stand down when the president of the United States attempts to hand our highest court over to the highest bidder. And that is why I believe Judge Gorsuch’s nomination should be blocked." Read more »

Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.)

"We have to have the vote, show this guy can’t get 60, and see where it goes from there," he said in a town hall on March 26. Read more »

Ron Wyden (Ore.)

Undecided or unknown 0

These senators have not weighed in publicly.

Leaning against 0

Those who have expressed serious concerns about the vote or said they are leaning against it.

Against a filibuster 4

Those who have publicly said they would not filibuster the vote.

Michael F. Bennet (Colo.)

"Using the filibuster and nuclear option at this moment takes us in the wrong direction," he said in a statement April 3. "I have spent the past several weeks trying to avoid this outcome. Changing the Senate rules now will only further politicize the Supreme Court and prevent the Senate from blocking more extreme judges in the future. I will oppose efforts to filibuster the nomination, and strongly encourage my colleagues not to use the nuclear option."

Joe Donnelly (Ind.)

"After meeting with Judge Gorsuch, conducting a thorough review of his record, and closely following his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I believe that he is a qualified jurist who will base his decisions on his understanding of the law and is well-respected among his peers," he said in a statement April 2. Read more »

Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.)

"He has a record as a balanced, meticulous, and well respected jurist who understands the rule of law," Heitkamp said in a March 30 statement. "He has unique and critical experience with tribal sovereignty, Indian law, and public lands issues in the west, and has received the endorsement of numerous tribes and major Native American organizations. She added in a March 28 statement: "As I said last year when Judge Garland was nominated — and reiterated again when Judge Gorsuch was nominated — the U.S. Senate should have an up or down vote on any Supreme Court nominee as part of fulfilling our constitutional duty of providing advice and consent on nominees to the Supreme Court." Read more »

Joe Manchin III (W.Va.)

"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," he said in a statement March 30. "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." Read more »

Sources: Lawmaker statements and news reports. Published March 28, 2017.

* Two Independents caucus with the Democrats.

Most Read