BACKGROUND Confirmation hearings for Trump's far-right Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuchbegan March 20 -- the same day it was confirmed that Trump and his associates have been under FBI investigation since July 2016.
As Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted, "Neil Gorsuch is up for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court from a President whose campaign is under FBI investigation."
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, has vowed to lead a filibuster on Gorsuch's nomination on the Senate floor. This would mean Gorsuch would need 60 votes to be confirmed by the Senate -- or Republicans will be forced to invoke the "nuclear option" to push through the nomination with a simple majority vote.
(See the Vox article "Why would Democrats ever let Neil Gorsuch be confirmed?" on the pros and cons of filibustering this nomination -- including what game theory suggests about the possible benefits of obstructing Gorsuch.)
A Senate vote on the nomination is expected next week.
NEIL GORSUCH'S EXTREME RIGHT-WING RECORD
Gorsuch is the most far-right judge ever nominated for the Supreme Court. He has opposed LGBTQ rights, civil rights, immigrants' rights, and disability rights.
- "He sided with corporations and against workers in a variety of cases, including one in which a Kansas State professor was fired for requesting more leave after a cancer diagnosis, and one involving a truck driver who was fired for abandoning his malfunctioning truck after waiting in a freezing, unheated cabin for three hours." (Vox, 3/23/17)
- "He supported the Hobby Lobby decision, which allowed employers to prevent their employees' health insurance from covering birth control -- in the name of religious freedom." (MoveOn, 3/22/17)
- "He supported corporations over people by saying that it should be more difficult for consumers to sue large corporations for fraud and wrongdoing." (MoveOn, 3/22/17)
- Urge Senator Ben Cardin to join other senators who have pledged to filibuster, while thanking him for his decision to vote against Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court:
Suggested script (reword in your own words):
"I'm a constituent and a voter from Maryland, and I'm calling to urge Senator Cardin to support a filibuster against Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court while a cloud of criminal investigations hangs over Trump's ties to Russia. We can't afford a Court that would carry forward Trump's anti-woman, anti-worker agenda for decades to come."
- Email Senator Chris Van Hollen to thank him for his pledge to filibuster.
Sen. Chris Van Hollen statement on 3/28/17: "After the Senate's unprecedented abdication of constitutional responsibility with respect to the Garland nomination, we must begin to restore faith in the Supreme Court. That requires a nominee who is widely viewed to be an impartial administrator of justice - someone who is truly in the mainstream and who can earn the support of at least 60 senators. I will insist that this nominee be held to that standard."
- Have friends or family in Ohio or New York? These states have Senators who plan to vote no on nomination, but it's unclear whether they will filibuster. Ask your friends to call these Senators.
From CNN 3/28/17
1. Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) -- "I cannot support any #SCOTUSnominee who does not recognize that corporations are not people. Read my full statement" -- Twitter on 1/31/2017
2. Sen. Pat Leahy (Vermont) -- "As of now I do not believe I can support Judge Gorsuch. He did not answer basic Qs & was selected by extreme interest groups w an agenda...I am never inclined to filibuster a SCOTUS nom. But I need to see how Judge Gorsuch answers my written Qs, under oath, before deciding." -- Twitter on 3/27/2017
On 3/28/2017, Leahy said he was still waiting to see the written responses.
The Washington Post, 3/23/17
The New York Times Editorial Board, 3/24/17
"The best rationale for the filibuster, however, is the outrageous behavior of Mr. Schumer’s Republican colleagues, who refused even to consider Judge Merrick Garland, Mr. Obama’s highly qualified choice to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, in February 2016 — solely to hold the seat open for a conservative judge."