An announcement from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Miss.) Friday that she would not vote to bring consideration of Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Senate floor may all but ensure Republicans will go nuclear.
McCaskill, who represents a state President Donald Trump won by 18.7 percent, was a crucial pickup if Republicans were to secure the necessary eight Democratic senators needed to bring the nomination to the floor for an up-or down vote.
"Senator McCaskill is no longer the Senator from Missouri, she is the Senator for Limousine Liberals."
"This is a really difficult decision for me. I am not comfortable with either choice," McCaskill wrote in a post published Friday on Medium titles, "Gorsuch: Good for Corporations, Bad for Working People."
McCaskill claimed she could not bring herself to support Gorsuch because "a study of his opinions reveal a rigid ideology that always puts the little guy under the boot of corporations."
McCaskill appeared to acknowledge her politicized decision could wreck negative consequences on the nation's future.
"While I have come to the conclusion that I can't support Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court -- and will vote no on the procedural vote and his confirmation -- I remain very worried about our polarized politics and what the future will bring, since I'm certain we will have a Senate rule change that will usher in more extreme judges in the future," McCaskill continued.
But the Missouri Democrat's concern about the ongoing effects of "our polarized politics" apparently wasn't strong enough to allow her to support Gorsuch's nomination -- despite the fact that he has garnered bipartisan support outside of the Senate.
"Senator McCaskill supports Obamacare, she supports taxpayer funding of abortion, she voted for two of President Obama's liberal Supreme Court nominees, and now she is refusing to even give Judge Gorsuch a fair up or down vote in the Senate," Carrie Severino, Judicial Crisis Network's chief counsel and policy director, said in a statement Friday. "Senator McCaskill is no longer the Senator from Missouri, she is the Senator for Limousine Liberals."
McCaskill, once considered a moderate in the senate, embraced her left-ward lurch during a fundraiser Thursday, where she sought to court Missouri supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders's 2016 presidential bid.
"All of you who are Bernie supporters ... I need you. I want you. I want to talk to you. I want you to be part of our effort," McCaskill said. "We can't get divided in a state like Missouri, or we're cooked."
Missouri, which Trump claimed during the 2016 presidential election with over 57 percent of the vote, may not look kindly upon McCaskill's part in the obstruction of Trump's Supreme Court nominee when she comes up for reelection in 2018.
Thus far, only two of the Senate's 48 Democratic senators have broken ranks with their Party and declared their support for Gorsuch: Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. Both senators hail from states that fell to Trump in 2016 by over 64 percent and both are up for reelection in 2018.
"Throughout Judge Gorsuch's career, he has come to his legal rulings objectively, through the letter of the law rather than through his own opinion," Manchin said in his statement Thursday. "I hold no illusions that I will agree with every decision Judge Gorsuch may issue in the future, but I have not found any reasons why this jurist should not be a Supreme Court Justice."
Heitkamp admitted that Gorsuch "has a record as a balanced, meticulous, and well respected jurist who understands the rule of law" when she announced her support.
Manchin even added during a Friday event in Matewan, West Virginia, that he is "talking to everybody I can that I think would be reasonable and understand it" in the Senate to vote for Gorsuch.
At least nine Democratic senators and one independent senator have not yet announced whether they would support Gorsuch, as Politico noted: Michael Bennet of Colorado, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Chris Coons of Delaware, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Dianne Feinstein of California, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Robert Menendez of New Jersey, Jon Tester of Montana and Mark Warner of Virginia, including independent Angus King of Maine.
With McCaskill's refusal, the GOP needs six of those ten remaining lawmakers to at least support an up-or-down vote for Gorsuch.