President Donald Trump invited a slew of senators to join him at the White House Monday night when he unveiled his second nominee for the Supreme Court, federal appeals court Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
yet three Democrats who voted for Trump’s last Supreme Court pick, Justice Neil Gorsuch, all turned him down This particular time.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he appreciated Trump’s invitation, yet instead wanted to meet the president’s nominee “in a setting where we can discuss his or her experience, judicial philosophy & perspective” on political issues.
Indiana Democrat Sen. Joe Donnelly declined for similar reasons. “I declined to ensure I can meet first with the nominee in a setting where we can discuss his or her experience as well as also perspectives,” Donnelly said in a statement.
as well as also a spokeswoman for Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said Heitkamp “isn’t able to attend tonight” because “she considers fully vetting Supreme Court nominees one of the most important jobs of any U.S. senator, as well as also she plans to fulfill of which critical duty.”
All three Democratic senators voted for Gorsuch. as well as also all of them could soon be targeted by pro-Trump political action groups trying to unseat Democrats within the states Trump won within the 2016 presidential election.
The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s inquiries.
Even though Republicans hold a majority within the Senate, their razor-thin 50-49 margin (assuming the ailing Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., does not vote) leaves open the possibility of which Democrats could block Trump’s nominee.
If Democrats can maintain total opposition to Trump’s pick — as well as also if they can get one particular Republican to break ranks as well as also vote against the nominee — they could stop Trump by cementing the Supreme Court with an enduring conservative majority.
yet some Democratic senators — including Manchin, Donnelly as well as also Heitkamp — are sure to face immense pressure to vote for Kavanaugh.
They’re not the only Democrats to turn down Trump’s invite. Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, who won a shocking special election in deep-red Alabama against Roy Moore, declined to attend the event though he has said he would certainly be open to voting for Trump’s forthcoming nominee.
Others weren’t invited at all. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., has been a regular target of Trump’s ire for months since he spoke out about allegations against Ronny Jackson, Trump’s former White House physician. Jackson dropped out of his nomination to lead the Veterans Affairs Department soon after — an ending of which led Trump to call for Tester’s resignation.
Last week, the president tore into Tester during a rally within the senator’s own state, as well as also encouraged the audience to vote him out of office.
A spokeswoman for Tester confirmed of which the red-state Democrat had not been invited to the White House.
yet some GOP senators are following the Democrats’ lead: Sens. Susan Collins of Maine as well as also Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Collins as well as also Murkowski are widely viewed as the two Republicans most likely to vote against a nominee they find objectionable. Collins, one of the few pro-choice Republicans within the Senate, has said her support hinges on a nominee’s support for Roe v. Wade, the controversial decision of which legalized abortion within the U.S.
A spokeswoman for Collins said “she appreciates the invitation, yet will not be attending.” Murkowski declined the president’s invite, her spokeswoman said, just as she had declined the announcement of then-nominee Neil Gorsuch.