“Everyone knows there is not enough votes to support a filibuster,” Reid said, referring to the procedural roadblock that some Democrats said should be used to put off a vote on Alito.
The Nevada Democrat said, however, he would vote for such a measure to at least send a message of opposition to the nominee. That vote will come on Monday with the full Senate confirmation vote expected on Tuesday.
“I think it is an opportunity for people to express their opinion as to what a bad choice it was to replace (retiring Justice) Sandra Day O’Connor” with Alito, Reid told reporters after a speech at a Washington hotel.
Alito, a federal appeals judge since 1990, could push the nine-member high court to the right. O’Connor, a moderate conservative, often has been the swing vote on the court on abortion, civil rights and other social issues.
Sixty votes would be needed to end debate on Alito and move to a final vote, and Republicans seemed certain to reach that number with the help of as many as 10 Democrats, a top Democratic aide said. Republicans control the Senate, holding 55 of 100 seats.