Neofascist Donald Trump tonight announced he is nominating an archconservative judge to fill the vacancy left by Antonin Scalia’s death nearly a year ago, which should have been filled last year, but wasn’t due to the obstructionism of Senate Republicans. Trump’s pick, Neil Gorsuch, would be an almost sure vote to “to limit gay rights, uphold restrictions on abortion and invalidate affirmative action programs”, according to a study by Washington University (PDF).
Senate Democrats must act to prevent our country from going further down the path of fascism by filibustering Gorsuch’s nomination. Chuck Schumer has signaled the caucus will insist on a sixty-vote threshold, which is good to hear, but we need to hear a similar commitment from every other Democratic senator.
Filibustering might not ultimately stop Republicans (who have a Senate majority) from confirming Gorsuch, but it would at least prevent a rapid right wing takeover of the Supreme Court, which is very important. Republicans are on the precipice of having complete control over every branch of the federal government, from the presidency to Congress and now the Supreme Court.
Senate Democrats must use the rules of the Senate to resist the right wing’s plans for total domination and defend the values our country was founded upon.
A few Senate Democrats, like Delaware’s Chris Coons, have stated publicly or hinted that they plan to tread carefully because don’t want to be seen as obstructionist. Coons and any colleagues who share his sentiments need to quit worrying about how Republicans are going to portray them in the press, and grow a backbone.
Republicans have no compulsion about altering their stance on a dime; Senate Democrats shouldn’t either. Especially considering the precarious situation we’re in.
Republicans refused last year to even hold hearings on President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland, and they went unpunished. They narrowly held on to their majority in the 2016 elections, which didn’t go well for Democrats.
As a Democratic United States Senator, Coons is one of the few people in this country in a prime position to thwart Trump’s agenda. America’s has been gravely imperiled as a consequence of the 2016 elections. Democrats like Coons need to buck up and fight like Republicans — or we will be in even greater trouble.
Not filibustering Gorsuch would be disastrous. Any Democratic senator unwilling to block Gorsuch’s nomination indefinitely will be deserving of a primary challenge.
This notion that the filibuster needs to be saved for some future use is completely ridiculous, and defies logic. If there was ever a time for the filibuster to be employed, it is now. “Saving” the filibuster so it can be used later is pointless.
If Republicans are willing to gut the filibuster now to get what they want, they’ll be willing to gut it the next time there’s a Supreme Court vacancy, too.
So it would not be of any use then.
By filibustering Gorsuch, Senate Democrats can back Republicans and Trump into a corner. Gorsuch’s nomination will either be on ice indefinitely, or Republicans will be forced to pull the trigger on the so-called “nuclear option” and get rid of the filibuster, which many of them (Mitch McConnell included) will be loathe to do.
If Republicans kill the filibuster, it will mean that in the future, should they wind up in the minority, they will have no ability to block a Democratic President and a Democratic Senate from getting Supreme Court nominees confirmed. They will have removed their own main means of obstructing a Democratic congressional majority and President in the future by changing the rules and traditions of the Senate.
Senate Democrats can do their country a great service by filibustering Gorsuch and forcing Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans to decide between keeping the filibuster or confirming Trump’s man. Collaboration with the Trump regime is immoral. We call on Senators Cantwell, Murray, Wyden, Merkley, and all their colleagues to filibuster Gorsuch and to not back down when hypocritical Senate Republicans attack them for blocking the right wing’s plans for total domination.