10:34, April 07 276 0 abajournal.com

2017-04-07 10:34:06
Gorsuch will ‘be jumping on a fast treadmill’ if confirmed; midday vote is scheduled

The U.S. Senate will vote on Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court shortly before noon Eastern Time on Friday, signaling that Democrats have apparently given up allotted debate time.

Democrats could have continued debate until 6:50 p.m. Eastern Time, the Hill reports. The announcement of a midday vote means not one senator objected to the earlier vote.

Gorsuch is expected to win confirmation after Senate Republicans on Thursday approved the “nuclear option,” which reduced the number of votes needed to end a filibuster from 60 to a simple majority. He is a judge on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who received a well-qualified rating from the ABA.

If Gorsuch is confirmed, he will have to hit the ground running, the National Law Journal (sub. req.) reports. “It’s like jumping on a fast treadmill,” said Benjamin Horwich, who was one of the first clerks for Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. “There’s a certain amount of triage,” Horwich told the National Law Journal.

Alito joined the court in February 2006—during the term, rather than during a summer recess when most new justices are confirmed.

The National Law Journal summarizes the hurdles that Gorsuch will face. Gorsuch will need to hire law clerks; past justices confirmed midterm have hired their own past clerks as well as their predecessor’s clerks. Justices will hold their next conference to consider cert petitions on April 13. Usually a “discuss list” of cases justices would like to discuss is prepared days before, and it’s unlikely Gorsuch would be able to contribute to it. The next oral argument cycle begins on April 17 and Gorsuch will have to prepare for that.

Finally, it’s likely Gorsuch and the other justices will have to consider some last-ditch appeals seeking delays in eight Arkansas executions set to take place within 11 days.