CNN's political director David Chalian said Tuesday that President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch is so qualified that Democrats in Trump states will be highly pressured to confirm his nomination.
The comments came while panelists were mulling over the possibility of the Democrats blocking the Supreme Court nomination out of their anger over Republicans' refusal to vote on Obama's Supreme Court pick, Merrick Garland.
He's specially difficult to oppose for those ten Democrats that are running in Trump states. That's why I'm not sure [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell will need to employ the nuclear option because I don't know that the Democrats are going to be able to hold entirely. Because of this pick, you can imagine - look at Heidi Heitcamp's statement, the Senator from North Dakota. She said she's not judging this at all right now, she wants to leave open, make sure we go through the hearing. That's somebody who's open to the idea of eventually, possibly, voting to confirm.
Justice Neil Gorsuch has been praised on both sides of the aisle for being eminently qualified for the position of Supreme Court justice, but his nomination is a gift from Trump to conservatives demanding an originalist justice who will keep to a strict reading of the Constitution.
Gorsuch has a sterling legal pedigree. He clerked for two Supreme Court justices, Byron White and Anthony Kennedy. He also served as a clerk on the second most important appeals court in the country, in Washington D.C., for conservative Judge David Sentelle.
Like Justice Antonin Scalia, whom he is in line to replace, Gorsuch has cultivated a reputation as a memorable and clear author of legal opinions. He also considers himself to be an originalist. Lawyers who practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, where Gorsuch currently works, said he is a popular and approachable judge.
Obama nominated Merrick Garland for the seat on the Supreme Court vacated by Justice Scalia when he passed away, but Republicans said they would stall in order to give the American people a chance to vote on who they wanted to place on the court. Democrats are now vowing to block Trump's Supreme Court nomination, forcing Republicans to consider "the nuclear option" that would change congressional rules to allow them to confirm the nomination with a simple majority. The controversial rules change had been used by Democrats to overrule Republican objections in 2013.