Emigrant Gulch Announcement

Senator Jon Tester spoke Monday after Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the Obama administration will protect 30,000 acres of land from new mining claims in Paradise Valley on Nov. 21 at Chico Hot Springs Resort.

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Sen. Jon Tester won’t say what he’ll do when President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee comes up for a confirmation vote next week.

“Jon has not yet made a decision,” said a Tester spokesman on Friday. “He is continuing to get feedback from Montanans and review Judge Gorsuch’s qualifications.”

It has been 53 days since Tester met with and questioned Judge Neil Gorsuch.

Tester’s previous votes aren’t much help for those trying to guess how he’ll come down on the lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court.

The Democratic senator from Big Sandy has voted yes on 11 Trump nominations and against eight, according to Senate records.

That’s a stark contrast with Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Bozeman who has voted yes on every Trump nomination.

And on Gorsuch, Daines has issued repeated endorsements.

“Judge Gorsuch will bring impeccable legal qualifications and western commonsense to the U.S. Supreme Court,” Daines said in a statement to the press. “He made clear to me that he understands the proper role of the judiciary and will not legislate from the bench.”

Gorsuch and Daines

Sen. Steve Daines, R-Montana, meets with Judge Neil Gorsuch on Feb. 9, 2017.

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Troy Carter covers politics and county government for the Chronicle.

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