MTPR

Neil Gorsuch

Can the governor's amendatory veto bring back the mail ballot option for the special election? We parse Quist's new TV ads and his decision not to participate in a public broadcasting statewide debate. We also discuss what Gianforte gains or loses by keeping a low profile. Then we look at how Tester's Gorsuch vote might affect his re-election chances next year. Finally, we remember the well-respected former Helena legislator Mignon Waterman who died this week.

Montana Senator Jon Tester.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Sen. Jon Tester released a statement to the press Sunday, saying that after "thoughtful deliberation, late nights, and the counsel of thousands of Montanans," he's decided he "cannot support the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch."

Gorsuch is President Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

You can read Sen. Tester's statement on the Gorsuch nomination here.

Sen. Tester says he hasn't decided how he'll vote on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.
PD

Yesterday Montana's Republican Attorney General Tim Fox sent Senator Jon Tester a letter, urging the Democrat to vote to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch as the next justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The letter comes as Senate Democratic leadership is urging a filibuster of Gorsuch's nomination. Time magazine says 35 Senate Democrats have pledged to vote to block Gorsuch, that's just six votes shy of the number needed for a successful filibuster. Montana Public Radio asked Tester how he'll vote on Gorsuch earlier this week.

NPR Politics team will live blog the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. The live blog will include streaming video, with posts featuring highlights, context and analysis from NPR reporters and correspondents.

President Trump's pick for the Supreme Court is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. It is Day 2 of what is expected to be three days of hearings on Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination. If confirmed, Gorsuch would fill the high court seat left vacant in February 2016, after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

Montana's Republican Senator Steve Daines held what he called a “tele-town hall meeting” Wednesday night. His political opponents have been strongly criticizing him for not holding any face to face meetings where he takes questions from the public.

Senator Daines says telephone conference calls like last night's allow him to interact with more Montanans because people don't have to travel to participate in them. He said that 10,000 to 25,000 people typically participate in his calls.

Sen. Daines vs. protesters; the new national attack ad against Sen. Tester; state GOP chairman pushes to block the mail-ballot election for Ryan Zinke's replacement; opposition to Gianforte as the Republican nominee in the upcoming special election; and former Chief Justice Karla Gray's legacy, this week on "Capitol Talk."

Montana Senator Steve Daines at the state capitol in Helena, MT.
Freddy Monares - UM Legislative News Service

When U.S. Senator Steve Daines arrived to the state Capitol Wednesday to speak with House lawmakers and tout support for President Trump's Nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, a crowd of protesters, and a few supporters, were there to meet him.

U.S. Supreme Court
PD

Montana’s U.S. Senators were quick to issue statements on President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to be a Supreme Court justice about an hour ago. Both Senators will vote on Gorsuch's confirmation.