The most senior senator, Leahy retains a vision for the chamber as one that promotes bipartisanship and compromise. Leahy has long expressed concern about the politicization of judicial nominees, and he does not support Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s decision to filibuster the Gorsuch nomination, which would effectively block a full Senate vote.
“I am not inclined to filibuster, even though I’m not inclined to vote for him,” Leahy said.
Source: VT Digger
The most senior member of the judiciary committee, Senator Leahy opposes politicizing judicial appointments, even if he doesn’t agree with a particular judge. This is the pickle several Democratic Senators find themselves in: their base and their Party want them to oppose Gorsuch (due to ideological differences, anger over Garland, the resistance movement, etc), but some of them also want to preserve the filibuster, which now looks likely to fall if McConnell pushes the button. By our count, only Collins is a no on the Republican side to go nuclear, so a game of chicken between the parties ensues that older members may not want to participate in.
Update: as the Digger article made rounds, the Senator clarified his position on Twitter, asserting he is “undecided” on filibustering:
I am never inclined to filibuster a SCOTUS nom. But I need to see how Judge Gorsuch answers my written Qs, under oath, before deciding.
— Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) March 27, 2017