The last-minute White House withdrawal of an appeals court nominee on the Senate floor Thursday underscores just how thin of a margin Republicans have on the looming fight over President Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court.
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the Senate’s lone black Republican, planned to vote Thursday against the nomination of Ryan Bounds of Oregon to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, based on some writings by Bounds in college. Republicans have only 50 votes right now because Sen. John McCain of Arizona is battling brain cancer at home.
The loss of one Republican vote would have scuttled the Bounds confirmation, if Democrats and the two independents who caucus with them also voted against it. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas said the White House decided to withdraw the nomination rather than lose.
Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York and the advocacy groups that oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court immediately saw the parallels to that fight.