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The Latest: Senators worry about coming blowup over Gorsuch

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 4, 2017, about the struggle to move Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch toward a final up-or-down vote on the Senate floor. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Senate debate on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch (all times local):

3:05 p.m.

Senators from both parties are worried about the coming blowup over Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is poised to change Senate rules. By lowering the threshold for a vote on Supreme Court nominees from 60 votes to a simple majority, Republicans would eliminate the ability of Democrats to keep Gorsuch off the high court.

But some Republicans worry the move will weaken Senate traditions.

Arizona Republican John McCain said, “I fear that someday we will regret what we are about to do. In fact, I am confident we will.” He said there has to be a Senate “where the rights of the minority are protected regardless of which party is in power at the time.”

Still, McCain is expected to go along with McConnell on changing the filibuster rule.


10:20 a.m.

Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley has ended his marathon speech on the Senate floor against President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

The Oregon lawmaker yielded the floor at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday — 15 hours after he began highlighting his party’s opposition to Gorsuch.

During his attention-grabbing talk-a-thon, Merkley stood next to a blown-up, poster-style portion of the Constitution with the words “We the People” showing.

Gorsuch is a 10-year veteran of a federal appeals court in Denver, where he’s compiled a highly conservative record that’s led Democrats to complain he too often sides with corporations without regard to the humanity of the plaintiffs before him.

Merkley says Gorsuch’s disdain for class action lawsuits, often brought by consumers, is an example of the judge’s business-friendly worldview.

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