Last night, one lone senator held an all-night protest of Neil Gorsuch on the Senate floor, filibustering Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick the way it’s supposed to be done: by giving a speech that lasted 15 hours.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) began speaking at 6:50 p.m. on Tuesday evening and railed against Gorsuch until 10:14 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
“I’ve been here through the night talking about this to say how important this is that we not do this, that to proceed to fill this stolen seat that will damage the court for decades to come and damage the Senate for decades to come,” he said Wednesday morning.
Merkley stood alone on the Senate floor, all-night, explaining that the decisions Gorsuch has made throughout his career are extreme and far removed from the mainstream. During his marathon speech, he also accused the Republicans of “court packing.” The Oregon senator added that the fight over Gorsuch was creating a “very, very ugly setting” within the Senate.
“It’s my understanding that the sun is coming up behind the Supreme Court. I was stuck by how beautiful the weather was yesterday while the weather inside this building was so dark and gloomy,” Merkley said early Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday, before Merkley began his all-night filibuster, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filed cloture to schedule an automatic procedural vote for Thursday.
Merkley slammed McConnell for rushing the debate over Trump’s SCOTUS nominee and as promised, he spoke as long as he was able.
“Here we are in the first day just hours into debate and the majority leader said, ‘Enough. We don’t want to hear any more about this topic. We’re going to shut down debate,’ ” Merkley said.
Merkley deserves a round of applause and the admiration of the American people for doing something Senators rarely do nowadays. This was a real filibuster. He stood on the floor of the Senate and spoke for 15 hours. Merkley did it how it’s supposed to be done. Bravo.
If you are interested in watching Merkley’s speech, it was broadcast live via his Facebook page.
Featured image via video screen capture