Senate Democrats say they are preparing to filibuster President Donald Trump’s pick to fill the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court—federal judge Neil Gorsuch—and Trump’s opponents are ready to hold them to it.
Gorsuch, a Colorado federal appeals court judge known for opposing reproductive rights—specifically in the Hobby Lobby case that protected religious freedom above women’s healthcare—and supporting the death penalty, “represents a breathtaking retreat from the notion that Americans have fundamental Constitutional rights,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who pledged to oppose him.
“If you breathe air, drink water or eat food, take medicine, or in any other way interact with the courts, this is a very bad decision—well outside the mainstream of American legal thought,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Sen. Jeff Merkley, another Oregon Democrat, promised the same, saying ahead of the announcement Tuesday, “This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat,” referring to Senate Republicans’ successful obstruction of former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland.
As Lucia Graves wrote at the Guardian, Democrats now have the chance to “return the favor by pushing Republicans to the legal limit, including making Republicans eliminate the filibuster on Supreme Court nominations.”
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