By BRIDGET BOWMAN and NIELS LESNIEWSKI, CQ Roll Call
Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Senate dance card is filling up with Democrats who could be key to his confirmation to the Supreme Court.
Gorsuch is scheduled to meet with 14 senators this week, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. He will also likely meet with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, according to a person familiar with the judge’s schedule.
Much of Gorsuch’s time will be spent with Democrats up for re-election in 2018 in states President Donald Trump won, who could face pressure to support Gorsuch’s nomination.
Gorsuch will also meet with Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who is not up for re-election but is a member of the Judiciary Committee.
Another senator to watch is Susan Collins,the moderate Maine Republican who is meeting with Gorsuch on Thursday. Collins was one of the few GOP senators to criticize her leadership’s blockade of President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee last year, Merrick Garland.
Gorsuch will sit down with a slew of other Republicans this week including Ben Sasse of Nebraska; Tom Cotton of Arkansas; Mike Crapo of Idaho; Jeff Flake of Arizona; GOP Conference Chairman John Thune of South Dakota; Steve Daines of Montana; Lisa Murkowksi of Alaska, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina.
Meanwhile, Democrats are grappling with their strategy moving forward. Some Democrats are already vowing to force a vote to end debate on Gorsuch’s nomination, which would require 60 votes. Republicans are criticizing the tactic, which has only been used four times for Supreme Court nominees.