Senate Democrats will try to block President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee even though Trump hasn’t revealed his pick for the vacancy.
With Trump set to announce his nominee Tuesday evening, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said in an interview on Monday that he will filibuster any pick that isn’t Merrick Garland, former President Obama’s original choice, adding that most of the Democratic Party will also oppose Trump’s nomination.
“This is a stolen seat,” Merkley said. “This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat.”
“We will use every lever in our power to stop this.”
Normally, a simple majority of 51 votes is all that’s needed to confirm a Supreme Court nominee, but if Democrats can mount a successful filibuster threat, a supermajority of 60 votes would be required to confirm the nominee.
Any senator may object to a simple majority and require a supermajority vote. When asked if he would do that, Merkley replied, “I will definitely object to a simple majority.”
This latest development is unsurprising given that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-Ny.) said recently on MSNBC that Dems “are not going to make it easy for them to pick a Supreme Court justice.”
“It’s hard for me to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump would choose that would get Republican support that we [Democrats] could support,” Schumer added.
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow then asked if he would rather keep the seat open rather than confirm a new nominee, Schumer replied: “Absolutely.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) warned last Friday that even though the voting rules will be determined by the Democrats, it’s a guarantee that Trump’s nominee will be confirmed.
“I hope he or she will be confirmed based upon the completely outstanding credentials that we’re going to see,” McConnell said. “Hopefully we’ll be treated the way such a nominee would have been treated as recently as Bush 43.”