Donald Trump touts Neil Gorsuch in weekly address

US President Donald Trump pitches for Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch on Friday, saying the nomination is one of his 'most important actions as President'.
Judge Neil Gorsuch testifies during the third day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, on March 22, 2017.
Judge Neil Gorsuch testifies during the third day of his Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, on March 22, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON, DC (REUTERS) - US President Donald Trump used his weekly address on Friday to promote Supreme Court pick Mr Neil Gorsuch, saying the nominee was "incredibly qualified".

Senate Democrats on Friday (March 31) were a step closer to having enough votes to block a confirmation vote on Trump's Supreme Court nominee with three more Democratic senators coming out against Mr Gorsuch for the lifetime job as a justice.

Democrats are attempting to use a procedural hurdle called a filibuster that requires 60 votes to allow a confirmation vote in the 100-seat US Senate. Senate Republicans are hoping to vote on April 7 to confirm the conservative appeals court judge nominated by the Republican president in January.

Republicans control the Senate 52-48. But if Democrats can muster 41 votes, they would be able to sustain the filibuster.

 
 

As of Friday afternoon, 36 Democrats had indicated their support for such a move. Two Democrats have said they support Mr Gorsuch. Another two have voiced opposition to him, but have not made clear whether they would support a filibuster to block a confirmation vote.

If confirmed by the Senate to fill a vacancy created by the February 2016 death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, Mr Gorsuch would reinstate the nine-seat high court's conservative majority at a time when Republicans control Congress and the White House.