- "President Trump and I have full confidence that Judge Gorsuch will be confirmed," Pence said
- Pence warned Democrats against using the filibuster to stop Gorsuch's nomination
Pence was in Philadelphia, where he addressed a meeting of the Federalist Society, a leading conservative legal organization. He frequently compared Gorsuch to the late Antonin Scalia, whom he would be replacing on the high court.
"Of course, several announced their opposition within minutes of his nomination. And now they are even threatening to use the filibuster procedure in the Senate to stop him," Pence told the crowd. "Make no mistake about it, this would be an unwise and unprecedented act."
He continued, "President Trump and I have full confidence that Judge Gorsuch will be confirmed. But rest assured, we will work with the Senate leadership to ensure that Judge Gorsuch gets an up or down vote on the Senate floor one way or the other."
Gorsuch, a 49-year-old federal appellate judge in Colorado, was nominated earlier in the week to fill the nearly year-long vacancy on the Supreme Court in the wake of Scalia's passing. Democrats have signaled that he is in for a tough confirmation process, particularly after Republicans refused to give a hearing to President Barack Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland.
In response, President Donald Trump has advised Senate Majority Mitch McConnell to invoke the so-called "nuclear option" to lower the threshold necessary to confirm Supreme Court justices from 60 to 51 if Republicans encounter gridlock over the nomination.
Pence -- speaking one day after a federal judge in Seattle halted the administration's travel ban across the nation -- told the gathering he and Trump were committed to honoring the Constitution. Pence made no mention of the controversy swirling around the immigration order.
"I can say with the utmost confidence that Judge Gorsuch is a worthy successor to Justice Antonin Scalia," he said. "When you get right down to it, Judge Gorsuch, plain and simple, is one of the most mainstream, respected and exceptionally qualified Supreme Court nominees in American history."