Senate Democrats are vowing to filibuster and stop Trump’s Supreme Court nominees no matter what.
With Trump prepared to announce his nominee on Tuesday evening, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said in an interview on Monday morning that he will filibuster any pick that is not Merrick Garland and that the vast majority of his caucus will oppose Trump’s nomination. That means Trump's nominee will need 60 votes to be confirmed by the Senate.
Senator Merkley declared the seat could go to none of Trump’s picks because it was “stolen,” presumably by the Russians.
“This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat,” Merkley said in an interview. “We will use every lever in our power to stop this.”
Should Senator Merkley get the 41 Democrats on his side to filibuster, the nomination could unravel into a massive fight, although that may be detrimental to Democrats in the long run.
Typically, for a filibuster to actually work, the minority needs to have public support or a serious controversy to erupt during the committee hearings. Case in point: Justice Clarence Thomas suddenly getting smacked with sexual harassment charges from Anita Hill, which still couldn’t keep him off the bench.
The Democrats will also need public trust in the media, whose trust has plummeted in recent polls.
“It would be only the second time in modern history that the Senate has mounted a filibuster against a nominee. Democrats, including then-Sen. Barack Obama, tried to block the confirmation of Samuel Alito in 2006 but failed,” reports Politico.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not yet vowed to use the nuclear option to break the filibuster.