Watch Live: Progressive Senator Holds the Floor of the Senate 14 Hours and Counting Over Gorsuch Vote
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) vowed to speak for as long as possible in protest of the looming Supreme Court confirmation of President Trump's pick, Neil Gorsuch. Beginning just before 7pm Tuesday night, the Oregon senator has held the floor for over 14 hours.
"Make no mistake: this is a stolen seat, and if this theft is completed, it will undermine the integrity of the court for decades," Merkley tweeted Tuesday night.
Make no mistake: this is a stolen seat–& if this theft is completed, it will undermine the integrity of the court for decades. #StopGorsuch— Senator Jeff Merkley (@Senator Jeff Merkley)1491346462.0
"Go, @SenJeffMerkley, Go! #StopGorsuch #HoldTheFloor," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) cheered in response, setting off the trending hashtags.
Go, @SenJeffMerkley, Go! #StopGorsuch #HoldTheFloor https://t.co/J1Jamon1tl— Elizabeth Warren (@Elizabeth Warren)1491353898.0
Merkley’s staff streamed the motion on Facebook Live, less than two days before Thursday's vote.
Democrats secured enough votes to filibuster Gorsuch on Monday, which could lead the GOP to "go nuclear," or change the confirmation rules to a simple majority.
52 Senate Republicans and three Democrats—Joe Manchin (WV), Heidi Heitkamp (ND) and Joe Donnelly (IN)—currently support Gorsuch, while a fourth Democrat, Colorado's Michael Bennet, may vote against Gorsuch.
Gorsuch, a Denver-based judge of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, has raised controversy among Senate Democrats for his far-right views and the timing of his appointment.
Earlier that night, Warren delivered her own fiery dissent, calling Gorsuch a "corporate pawn" based on his prior rulings.
"I think it is crazy that we are considering confirming a lifetime Trump nominee to the Supreme Court at a moment when the president's campaign is under the cloud of an active, ongoing FBI counterintelligence investigation," Warren added, a sentiment echoed by Merkley during his protest.
"Until the FBI and Congress complete #Russia investigation, confirming @realDonaldTrump lifetime appointment to #SCOTUS is premature," Merkley tweeted on Wednesday.
Until the FBI and Congress complete #Russia investigation, confirming @realDonaldTrump lifetime appointment to #SCOTUS is premature.— Senator Jeff Merkley (@Senator Jeff Merkley)1491380858.0