By Martin Kidston/Missoula Current
Sen. Jon Tester on Sunday announced that he would oppose Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the U.S Supreme Court, citing his refusal to answer certain questions and his stance on several pressing issues.
After deliberating on President Donald Trump’s appointment to the bench for several months, Tester said he was unable to support Gorsuch due to his stance on women’s rights, health care and dark money.
His decision could help Democrats rally enough support for a filibuster.
“I cannot support a nominee who refuses to answer important questions,” Tester said. “With Judge Gorsuch on the bench, I am deeply concerned that dark money will continue to drown out the voices and votes of citizens.”
Tester, who was among the first U.S. senators to interview Gorsuch back in February, said he took his time making a decision, saying the appointment was too important to play political games.
Tester, D-Montana, said Gorsuch has ruled to give corporations the same constitutional rights as individual people, and would infringe on the rights of women to determine their own health care decisions.
If Gorsuch were nominated, Tester said he worries that “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,” Tester said. “While he is good on the Second Amendment, his views of the Fourth Amendment – guaranteeing the right to privacy – should be concerning to everyone.”
Tester is up for reelection in 2018.
According to the Washington Post, Democrats appeared Sunday to have rallied enough support for a filibuster of Gorsuch.
That would force Republicans to trigger the “nuclear option” if they hope to install Trump’s first nominee to the court this week.
The Post reported that Tester’s announcement marked the latest signal that Republicans probably won’t be able to rally the 60 votes needed to overcome the blockade on Gorsuch, who may be the latest to become ensnared in Trump’s divisive politics.
Contact reporter Martin Kidston at firstname.lastname@example.org