Democrats announced that they will filibuster Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. Bernie Sanders announced tonight on Rachel Maddow’s show that he will support the filibuster and gave his reasoning why. (see video below …)
“I had the opportunity to sit down with Judge Gorsuch in my office a couple of weeks ago, we had a very congenial chat. The issues that concerned me, of many, are the issue of Citizens United — and whether or not he believes in a general sense, he’s not going to rule on a particular case — in a general sense, whether billionaires have the unlimited freedom to buy elections? He didn’t give me a satisfactory answer.
I asked him about voter suppression. I worry very much that all over this country we have Republican Governors working overtime in the name of fighting “voter fraud” which virtually does not exist. Making it harder for poor people, people of color, older people, young people — to vote. Asked about his views on that — not a satisfactory answer.
Asked him about a woman’s right to choose and privacy rights — not a satisfactory answer.
So, as everybody knows, right now, the Supreme Court is 4-4. He would … if appointed — make it would make it a 5-4 conservative majority. I will do everything that I can to see that — that does not happen.”
As the Los Angeles Times reports, this filibuster will give the GOP only two paths to confirm Gorsuch;
Democratic vote counters are confident they have more than the 40 votes needed to sustain a filibuster, at least for a time. Currently, 48 senators caucus with the Democrats, including two who were elected as independents.
That leaves Senate Republicans with two paths they could use to confirm Gorsuch.
One option would be to have repeated cloture votes to test whether some Democrats, especially those from states carried by Trump in the presidential election, might break ranks after a symbolic vote or two.
The other option would be to move immediately to change Senate rules to allow a confirmation with only 51 votes.
Democrats already set the precedent for changing the rules in 2013, when they voted to require only a simple majority to confirm all presidential appointments other than Supreme Court justices. At the time, Republicans protested, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has strongly hinted he would follow suit if needed to get Gorsuch confirmed.
One issue for McConnell will be whether some veteran Republican senators are reluctant to change the filibuster rule without at least going through the motions of trying to gain 60 votes for cloture. McConnell has said he wants to get Gorsuch confirmed before the Senate takes its Easter recess, scheduled to begin April 6.
Check out Sanders filibuster support announcement on Rachel Maddow’s show below;