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Jeff Merkley urges Democrats to follow through on Neil Gorsuch filibuster

Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon said Friday that Democrats should follow through on their plans to filibuster the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, in response to cracks that are emerging in his party’s opposition to the pick.

Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of South Dakota joined the pro-Gorsuch forces on Thursday, and audio of Sen. Claire McCkaskill emerged in which the Missouri Democrat warned that her party could end up with a worse nominee than Judge Gorsuch if they filibuster the nominee, which would force Republicans to win over eight Democrats or change the rules to allow him to win confirmation on a simple majority vote.

That “argument doesn’t make any sense,” Mr. Merkley said Friday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“Picture this: You have two people confront each other,” the Oregon Democrat said. “One of them pulls out a sword and says, ‘I’ve got the power, the other pulls out a machine gun and says too bad, and then the person with the sword says, ‘Well, I will just lay it down and I won’t pick it up until next time I come back, and the next time you come back, the other team still has a machine gun.”

For months, Mr. Merkley has argued that Senate Republicans “stole” a seat on the Supreme Court by refusing to hold hearings or an up-or-down vote on Judge Merrick Garland, who then-President Barack Obama nominated to the high court in March.

Judge Gorsuch’s nomination is expected to be voted on April 7.

Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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