Judiciary Committee poised to vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch
The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Neil Gorsuch Monday morning, likely bringing Trump’s Supreme Court nominee one step closer to claiming the seat vacated by conservative Justice Antonin Scalia over a year ago.
The committee, made up of 11 Republicans and just nine Democrats, is expected to easily advance Gorsuch, currently a judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, to the next phase of his confirmation.
However, Trump’s nominee will face a contentious battle in the full Senate.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has pledged that Gorsuch will be confirmed on Friday, no matter what.
But unless his caucus can recruit five additional Democrats to join the three who have already pledged to support Gorsuch, McConnell will likely be forced to invoke the so-called "nuclear option," changing Senate rules to allow a simple majority of 51 votes, rather than the current threshold of 60, to overcome a filibuster.
Gorsuch, 49, who testified for more than 20 hours during his confirmation hearings, says he has eschewed partisanship so far.
"There’s no such thing as a Republican judge or a Democratic judge. We just have judges in this country," he told the Judiciary Committee.
Gorsuch, who clerked for Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy before entering private practice and then serving as Deputy Associate Attorney General, was nominated to the Tenth Circuit federal appellate court by President George W. Bush in 2006.
He also denied making any promises to Trump before accepting the Supreme Court nomination — including how he would decide on a challenge to the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade.
"I have offered no promises on how I’d rule on any case to anyone and I don’t think it’d be appropriate for a judge to do so," he said. "Putting on a robe reminds us that it’s time to lose our egos and open our minds."
ABC News’ Mariam Kahn and Geneva Sands contributed to this report.