July 26, 2017

McConnell claims votes to bust Supreme Court filibuster

06 April 2017, 02:49 | Sue Hudson

Democrats will mount their filibuster on Thursday when they are expected to raise the necessary votes to deny cloture, which ends debate. This will likely prompt Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to trigger the nuclear option, meaning Gorsuch can win confirmation with a simple majority. And, as Ari Berman writes, there are a number of reasons-from the treatment of Merrick Garland to Gorsuch's own record-to continue to fight this nomination.

In a lengthy speech lasting over 15 hours, the OR senator repeatedly criticized Judge Neil Gorsuch for his rulings in favor of businesses.

On Monday, Senate Democrats secured enough votes to try to block the confirmation of Gorsuch, despite Republicans's goal to approve the candidate anyway.

He also noted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's declaration that Trump should not have a supreme court nominee while the president's associates are under investigation by law enforcement agencies for potential ties to Russian Federation. Democrats have accused the Republicans of "stealing" a Supreme Court seat by stonewalling Garland. "I will vote to confirm Judge Gorsuch one way or another".

Democrats now have the votes required to block the nomination of Gorsuch.

Gorsuch now counts 55 supporters in the Senate: the 52 Republicans including McConnell, along with three moderate Democrats from states that President Donald Trump won last November - Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana. Their position is basically that any opposition based on ideology is illegitimate, which matches the preposterous pretense during Gorsuch's hearing that Supreme Court justices are best thought of as neutral arbiters whose personal political views are entirely irrelevant. "This is an extreme nominee from the far right who doesn't believe in the fundamental vision of 'We the People'".

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"This is a new low", Mitch McConnell, Senate Republican majority leader, stated.

He noted that the Republican-led Senate failed to even hold confirmation hearings a year ago on Merrick Garland, Obama's pick to fill the seat, which opened when the conservative justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016.

The Senate began debate Tuesday on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch with Republicans decrying the possibility of a filibuster and Democrats all but promising to deliver one. "The way in which that occurs is in the hands of the Democratic minority". While majority haven't gone so far as to say that they will oppose anyone Trump nominated (as, after all, Republicans did when this seat became vacant during Barack Obama's presidency), they have hinted that this is in fact what they are up to.

As Merkley spoke, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Asked if he has the votes to do that, given misgivings voiced by many Republicans, McConnell answered simply "yes".

Cantwell, meanwhile, who narrowly defeated Gorton for her Senate seat in 2000, said in a statement she believes that "if the nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court can not get 60 votes then we need a new nominee, not a change of rules".

"Make no mistake: This is a stolen seat - & if this theft is completed, it will undermine the integrity of the court for decades", Merkley tweeted as he took to the Senate floor yesterday shortly before 7 p.m.

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