Senator ends marathon 15-hour speech against Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch

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06 April, 2017

Last night, Senator Jeff Merkley spoke on the Senate floor for more than 15 hours against the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

While Merkley's marathon speech was a galvanizing factor for progressives who oppose Gorsuch's nomination, it had no procedural effect because he did not delay any Senate floor action from moving forward, with the next vote not expected for more than 24 hours.

"The fact is when we saw Republicans refuse to act on Merrick Garland previous year, that was politics".

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

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.

[Senate Republicans should] resist the temptation to extend the "nuclear option" to include Supreme Court nominees, which is something they are actively considering. Though predicting a justice's votes can be hard, Gorsuch's confirmation is expected to restore the conservative majority that existed while Scalia was alive, and which could persist for years or even grow.

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

The US Senate descended into acrimonious bickering Tuesday as Republicans and Democrats clashed over President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick, with no signs that a potentially damaging showdown will be averted.

Merkley says Gorsuch's disdain for class action lawsuits, often brought by consumers, is an example of the judge's business-friendly worldview. Currently, Gorsuch needs 60 votes to be confirmed to the Supreme Court.

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Angus King of ME said in a Tuesday statement that he will oppose Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's U.S. Supreme Court nominee, and side with Democrats in a likely-to-fail effort to derail his confirmation.

"They can choose to go nuclear or they can sit down with Democrats to preserve the grand traditions of this body", Schumer said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell now stands to lower the bar for high-court nominees, too. "And that would be a show of good faith on his part, that he wants to nominate someone in the mold of Merrick Garland", she says. As of Monday, just three Democrats said they meant to vote for cloture, while 41 said they plan to block the nomination.

"293 days without a fair hearing or vote".

Several Republicans who had previously expressed their uncertainty or misgivings on the idea have confirmed they will back the constitutional option. Sen.

Democrats were "hurtling toward the abyss", he said, "and trying to take the Senate with them".

In response, Republicans are preparing to change the rules and eliminate the filibuster on Supreme Court nominees, ending the minority party's ability to demand meaningful consultation on presidential appointments to any major office (since Democrats, when they were in the majority, had already abolished the filibuster for other nominations).

McConnell downplayed the significance of that change, even as other members of his caucus have said it would damage the Senate and lead to a more ideological, partisan Supreme Court.


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