Senate Dems Make Huge Gorsuch/Filibuster Announcement – W.H. Flip Out Imminent

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CNN is reporting that Senate Democrats can now count on having enough votes to filibuster Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation to the Supreme Court when his nomination comes up for a full Senate vote later this week.

Gorsuch’s nomination has come under intense criticism for a number of reasons. These reasons include a sort of punitive, deep discontent with the fact that the seat which Gorsuch will take should he be confirmed was supposed to go to President Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland.

Obama nominated Garland to the nation’s highest court after the surprise death of Antonin Scalia, and Republicans, in their capacity as majority party in the Senate, refused to even allow hearings on Garland’s nomination to proceed. They said that Obama ought to not get to pick Scalia’s replacement at such a late point in his tenure, citing an absolutely non-existent legal precedent.

In reality, they just seized a power grabbing opportunity in the hope that a Republican like Donald Trump would succeed Obama. With Trump’s election, Senate Republicans got their wish.

Now, however, the Democrats, who are still in the minority in the Senate, are prepared to do their best to stop Gorsuch from getting on the Supreme Court, at least for the time being.

Besides issues with the fact that filling Scalia’s seat shouldn’t ever have fallen to Trump, Senate Democrats have also raised concerns over Gorsuch’s judicial record.

He has marketed himself as a judge who adheres to a strict interpretation of the law. Although that sounds nice to conservatives, it easily provides for rulings that can only be described as utterly absurd.

One of the most infamous of these out of Gorsuch’s background was given special attention by Senate Judiciary Committee member Al Franken during the initial stages of Gorsuch’s confirmation. The case was of a truck driver who temporarily left behind part of his disabled truck on the side of the road in order to not freeze to death. This truck driver was fired, an action for which he brought a court case against his former employer.

Gorsuch, in his role as a judge on the Tenth Circuit Court, ruled against the truck driver and in favor of the right of the corporation that fired him. As mentioned, Franken railed against Gorsuch during a meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee for ignoring the fact that such a ruling is utterly absurd.

Now, Democrats are prepared to stage a last stand against Gorsuch’s confirmation, citing these issues with his background. (There are a number of cases similar in absurdity to the truck driver case in Gorsuch’s past.)

Thirty-nine Democratic Senators and both Independent Senators have announced plans to support a filibuster when Gorsuch’s confirmation comes up for a full Senate vote.

Under existing Senate rules, 60 votes are needed to end a filibuster. With 41 Senators on the side of the filibuster, that option is off the table at present.

Here’s the thing, however.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced that he’s prepared to “break the rules to change the rules” and change the number of votes required to break a filibuster from 60 to 51.

Even still, the Democratic Senators on the side of the filibuster are prepared to move forward with their plans.

Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont said that he can’t see himself voting for Gorsuch just to protect the institution of the filibuster, adding:

‘I’ve often said the Senate at its best can and should be the conscience of the nation, but I must first and foremost vote my conscience. I will not and cannot support advancing this nomination.’

Other issues with Gorsuch’s nomination include the usage of a large amount of what Dianne Feinstein called “dark money” in an effort to drum up support for Gorsuch.

Featured Image via Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images.