Senate Democrats are planning to resist and filibuster Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick – no matter who it is.
Trump is set to announce his pick Tuesday evening. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) announced in an interview on Monday that he plans on filibustering any pick that isn’t Merrick Garland, and he’s not alone. Merkley said his caucus will also oppose the nomination. Trump’s pick will require 60 votes by the Senate in order to be confirmed.
Merkley said in the interview, “This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat. We will use every lever in our power to stop this.”
As Politico reported, any senator can object to swift approval of a nominee and require a supermajority. Asked directly whether he would do that, Merkley replied: “I will definitely object to a simple majority” vote. Merkley’s goal is to get 41 more Democrats to join him in the filibuster.
Chiming in to the SCOTUS conversation, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN.) tweeted that the SCOTUS nominees can still be blocked by the Senate Minority.
If Democrats are successful in taking back the Senate in 2018, Trump won’t be able to fill the vacant SCOTUS seat.
When Justice Antonin Scalia passed away in 2016, the GOP refused to vet or vote on President Obama’s pick, Merrick Garland – who is respected across political lines. House Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) doubled down on his promise to obstruct Obama at every turn and said last March, “The American people may well elect a president who decides to nominate Judge Garland for Senate consideration. The next president may also nominate someone very different. Either way, our view is this: Give the people a voice in the filling of this vacancy.”