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Most Democrats oppose Trump Supreme Court pick, but not all

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Many U.S. Senate Democrats are seeking to block a confirmation vote on Neil Gorsuch, the federal appellate judge nominated by President Donald Trump to become a Supreme Court justice, but it is unclear whether they will get the necessary votes.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote on sending the nomination to the Senate floor. Republican Senate leaders hope to confirm Gorsuch on April 7.

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As of Friday morning, 37 of the 46 Democrats and the two independents who align with them in the 100-seat Senate have publicly announced opposition to Gorsuch. Of those, 35 have said they would back an effort to block a confirmation vote via a procedural hurdle called a filibuster. Democrats need 41 votes to sustain a filibuster.

Two Democrats, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, have announced support for Gorsuch.

Republicans control the Senate 52-48, meaning they need to win over eight votes to block a filibuster. The confirmation vote itself would require a simple majority of 51 votes.

Eight Democrats and one independent, Angus King of Maine, have yet to announce whether they would vote against Gorsuch or support a filibuster. Here is a look at these senators:

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Michael Bennet of Colorado. Gorsuch is a fellow Coloradoan. Bennet introduced Gorsuch last week at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing. In the introduction, Bennet criticized Republicans’ refusal last year to consider former President Barack Obama’s nominee to the same Supreme Court seat Gorsuch would occupy if confirmed. But Bennet said that “two wrongs never make a right.”

Chris Coons of Delaware. He has indicated he may support a deal to avoid a filibuster.

Joe Donnelly of Indiana. Up for re-election in 2018 in a state Trump won in 2016. Position unclear.

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Dianne Feinstein of California. The senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee that oversaw Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing.

Angus King of Maine. The senator is an independent who normally votes with Democrats. Position unclear.

Claire McCaskill of Missouri. Up for re-election in 2018 in a state Trump won in 2016. Position unclear.

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Bob Menendez of New Jersey. Position unclear.

Jon Tester of Montana. Up for re-election in 2018 in a state Trump won in 2016. Position unclear.

Mark Warner of Virginia. Position unclear.

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(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley in Washington and Andrew Chung in New York; Editing by Will Dunham and Alistair Bell)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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‘The transcript has to come out’: Fox News pundit unloads on Trump over his Ukraine scandal

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A Fox News pundit on Monday said the Trump administration had no choice but to release a transcript of a controversial call with Ukraine's president, in which Trump allegedly pressured the foreign country to investigate his potential Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Trump has insisted that the call with Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskiy was "largely congratulatory" and focused on corruption. But the Trump administration attempted to block a whistleblower complaint about the conversation.

"Look, the administration made a serious error in excessive secrecy. If it is what the president says it is, then the effort to conceal it makes it worse, right?" said Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt.

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Explosive report shows how foreign entities are bombarding US servicemembers with pro-Trump propaganda

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Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter played a critical role in helping Russia-affiliated trolls disseminate propaganda to divide and manipulate voters in the 2016 presidential election.

But it hasn't stopped. A new report from the Vietnam Veterans Association has uncovered an ongoing two-year effort by actors in several foreign countries, including Russia, to target U.S. veterans and servicemembers.

The report shows that "These foreign admins have created individual social-media accounts that purport to belong to American veterans working at reputable veterans organizations," and use the accounts both to "send friend requests to the relatively small community of veteran advocates and connect with its prominent members who work to shape federal policy" and "spread propaganda and false news, while shaping and moderating/censoring the conversations of the unsuspecting community of American veterans who follow or join these groups and pages."

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‘Quiet!’ Trump snaps at reporters as he rants about his ‘perfect phone call’ to Ukraine

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President Donald Trump on Monday snapped at reporters after he was asked about his alleged attempts to have Ukraine's president fabricate dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

As Trump arrived at the U.N., he was asked how seriously he took the impeachment threat.

"Not at all seriously," the president said dismissively. "I had a perfect phone call with the president of Ukraine. Everybody knows it. It’s just a Democrat witch hunt. Here we go again. They failed with Russia, they failed with recession and everything, and now they’re bringing this up."

According to Trump, "the one who's got the problem is Biden."

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