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US Senate committee backs Trump Supreme Court choice Neil Gorsuch

A divided US Senate panel has moved to back Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

The Judiciary Committee voted 11-9 along party lines to recommend Mr Gorsuch to the full Senate.

A confirmation vote is expected on Friday, but not before a partisan showdown over President Donald Trump's choice.

Democrats have secured the 41 votes needed to block Mr Gorsuch with a filibuster after Delaware Sen Chris Coons said he would vote against the nominee.

The opposition will prevent Republicans from reaching the 60 votes they need to move Mr Gorsuch over procedural hurdles to a final Senate vote.

Determined to confirm him despite Democratic objections, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signalled that he is likely to change Senate rules later this week to reduce the threshold from 60 to a simple majority to get Mr Gorsuch confirmed.

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