After weeks of mulling it over, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill announced Friday that she'll oppose Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Missouri Democrat called it “a really difficult decision.” Her announcement comes ahead of next week's expected vote. Gorsuch needs 60 votes, which means at least eight Democrats must support him.
In an online post, McCaskill explained: “I cannot support Judge Gorsuch because a study of his opinions reveal a rigid ideology that always puts the little guy under the boot of corporations. He is evasive, but his body of work isn’t." She added that he "has shown a stunning lack of humanity.”
McCaskill’s stance is not entirely surprising because she is close to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, who is leading the opposition to Gorsuch. Schumer was influential in getting McCaskill to run in 2006 and helped her raise money.
But she’s also among 10 Democrats in the Senate who hail from states where voters favored now-President Donald Trump; he carried Missouri by almost 19 percentage points. McCaskill plans to run for a third term in 2018.
Various Republican groups fired off statements disparaging McCaskill's decision. The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee contended that McCaskill "sold out Missouri voters'' by opposing Gorsuch.
Missouri Democratic Party chairman Stephen Webber said in a news release that "anybody who wants to launch partisan attacks for her standing against a judge who's used his courtroom to let the rich and powerful step all over working people should have to answer for why they're refusing to stand with working Missourians."
Missouri Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt has made his support for Gorsuch clear, while Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, both Democrats, oppose the pick.
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