Senator ends marathon 15-hour speech against Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch

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Democrats escalated their attacks against Judge Neil Gorsuch ahead of key votes set for Thursday, portraying him as an ally of the powerful and an enemy of the weak. In the same period, Democrats have become more supportive of the filibuster, and say it is a good thing by more than four to one.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said: "What the majority leader did to Merrick Garland by denying him a hearing and a vote is even worse than a filibuster".

For all the talk of President Donald Trump not respecting institutions, more than 90 senators this week will disrespect the United States Senate. Surely, any senator who opposes cloture or supports a rules change, Democrat or Republican, will blame somebody else. No matter which party wins this "nuclear option" fight in the Senate, everybody else will lose.

McConnell chastised Democrats for forcing a change in Senate rules. Republicans said Gorsuch will be confirmed on Friday one way or the other.

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Merkley also decried the tactics senate Republicans used to block President Barack Obama from filling the seat vacated when former Justice Antonin Scalia died suddenly previous year. It's the way the Senate ends debate on a bill or nomination, allowing the process to move forward toward a final vote.

But even if Collins and Murkowski oppose the rule change, it is hard to see where Democrats find a third vote. Despite being nominated by President Trump, Gorsuch ada... They are viewed as an important procedural check on the power of the party in control, which can end a fillibuster only if it can muster 60 votes.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY said, "Senator McConnell would have the world believe that his hands are tied". By a majority vote, Republicans could vote to abolish the filibuster altogether for Supreme Court confirmation votes. Democrats - indeed, all senators - have a duty to vet a high court nominee.

Sen. Susan Collins of ME, who hasn't said how she will vote on the nuclear option, argued that both parties "will rue the day" that led to the likely rule change. Congressional Republicans have been attempting to scale back what they argue was administrative overreach by the executive branch during President Obama's two terms in office.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will move to change the Senate rules to allow a simple 51-majority vote to end debate on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch, instead of the 60 votes required by Senate rules.

Opposition Democrats insist they have the necessary votes to employ a blocking tactic known as a filibuster. That was so not because he was an Obama nominee but because Republicans so blatantly disrespected the Founding Fathers and the very reason America has always worked: We all agree to play by the rules.

Zaccaro said Merkley's long speech was in keeping with his argument that filibusters should be conducted by senators actually holding the floor. A fourth Senate Democrat, Michael Bennet from Gorsuch's home state of Colorado, has said he will not join in the filibuster against Gorsuch but has not said how he will vote on final passage.

Alternatively, if Democrats didn't prompt Republicans to use the nuclear option this time, they might persuade a handful of Republicans not to exercise it for an unqualified nominee next time.

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