Day 76: Merkley’s Marathon Filibuster Promotes Democracy

Republican-led Senate set to eliminate one of the tenets of the U.S. Senate anyway.

While most Americans were lying in bed asleep, one Democratic senator, Jeff Merkley (D-OR), stood on the Senate floor and filibustered the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Merkley didn’t stop until after 10:00 a.m. today, holding the floor for over 15 hours.

Merkley undertook this time-honored tradition of the opposition party and excoriated his Republican brethren for threatening to undo long-standing precedent regarding Senate filibuster rules for Supreme Court nominees.

He argued vociferously about Judge Merrick Garland’s stolen nomination, a man who never even received the most basic of meetings from most Republicans, much less full blown hearings or a vote.

He condemned Gorsuch for plagiarizing sections of his book.

He exposed Gorsuch’s shady ties to a corporate billionaire and his cronies.

He criticized Gorsuch’s ideologies previous decisions at the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, some of which have been overturned by SCOTUS.

He discussed Citizens United, Planned Parenthood and climate change.

Senate Majority Leader and chief Garland obstructor Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has vowed that Donald Trump’s nominee will go forward by any means necessary. He has indicated that the filibuster rule will be done away, erasing a rule that has been a tenet of the United States since the 1830s. Instead of requiring 60 votes to end a filibuster and put a Supreme Court nominee to a vote, the Senate will only require a simple majority.

But for over 15 hours, Senator Merkley did yeoman’s work upholding democratic ideals — not just Democratic ideals — during the dead of night. That can’t be undone.

76 days in, 1386 to go

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