Make Every Democratic Senator Filibuster Gorsuch

03/30/2017 11:55 pm ET Updated Mar 31, 2017
Trump Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and his mentor, Justice Scalia
Trump Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and his mentor, Justice Scalia

The number one priority for the Resistance movement this coming week must be to use every tactic in its book—including phone calls, emails, letters, petitions, and mass demonstrations at Democratic Senators’ homes and offices—to make clear that any Democratic Senator voting to end the filibuster of Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination will suffer severe consequences from his or her constituents, including a primary challenge.

Mass actions by the Resistance movement helped block the repeal of Obamacare and the implementation of Trump’s Muslim ban, but until now, the Resistance movement has mostly given a pass to Democratic Senators on the Gorsuch filibuster.

A number of Democratic senators have hinted that they’ll try to play it both ways: i.e. vote to end the filibuster in a mistaken attempt to appease Trump supporters, and then cast a meaningless vote against Gorsuch’s then inevitable confirmation in order to appease the base.

Even the moderately liberal Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy has strongly hinted that he will vote to break the filibuster and then vote against Gorsuch’s confirmation, a move that could give permission to other Democrats to do the same.

Democratic Senators can’t be allowed to get away with such a ploy. Masses of people in the Resistance movement must make it loud and clear that any Democratic Senator who votes to break the filibuster will face a primary challenge.

This is the most consequential vote of the year in the Senate. Senators come and go, but Supreme Court Justices sit on the Court for decades.

Gorsuch may be good looking and well spoken, but he’s a product of the hard right, pro-corporate, Koch-funded Federalist Society, that is also responsible for the other most right-wing Supreme Court Justices: John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and the late Antonin Scalia, who was Gorsuch’s mentor.

If anything, Gorsuch may be to the even farther to the right than Scalia. A close look at his record shows him to be closely aligned with the Chamber of Commerce, the Federalist Society, and the Christian right.

As a Supreme Court Justice, Gorsuch is likely to vote to further loosen remaining restrictions on campaign donations by billionaires and corporations, restrict voting rights, allow partisan gerrymandering, close the courthouse door to workers and consumers, overturn environmental and financial regulations, and make it more difficult for women to control their bodies and their health. .

In addition, Gorsuch is being named to the seat that rightfully belonged to Merrick Garland, and he’s being appointed by a President whose campaign was assisted by Russia. Moreover, he’s backed by tens of millions of dollars in right-wing “dark money”.

As Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has said, if Republicans can’t get 60 votes for Gorsuch, they should change the nominee, not the rules. Schumer should enforce party discipline on any back-sliding Democratic Senator who votes to end the filibuster.

Wavering Democratic Senators cannot be allowed to get away with voting to end a filibuster of Gorsuch.

And this coming week, the Resistance movement must use every tactic in its book to be sure that they don’t.

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