Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) spoke on the Senate floor on March 9, 2016 to slam the Republicans for not allowing an up-or-down vote on Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court, calling it an “all out effort to cripple” the president’s administration.
“Since the first day of the Obama presidency, Republican Senators have bowed to extremists who reject his legitimacy and abuse the rules of the Senate in an all out effort to cripple his administration and to paralyze the federal courts,” said Warren, who is now one of 42 Democrats who are vowing to filibuster President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nomination of federal appellate judge Neil Gorsuch.
Warren called the vacancy of a seat on the High Court following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia “one of the most solemn and consequential tasks that our government performs” and chided Republicans for not confirming Obama’s nominations for vacant seats on lower courts.
“Democrats had to change the filibuster rules in order to move those nominees forward,” Warren said.
Warren told Republicans to “do your job” and allow an up-or-down vote on Garland.
Republicans said at the time they would not move forward on the Garland nomination because it came during the final “lame duck” year of the Obama presidency, a move that is not unprecedented.
To date, 55 bipartisan Senators have pledged to vote for Gorsuch’s confirmation. Under current Senate rules, 60 votes are needed.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he has 42 votes to sustain a filibuster against Gorsuch.
Many Republican Senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have not ruled out changing Senate rules to allow a simple majority, or 51 votes, for the confirmation of Supreme Court justices.
“Gorsuch is going to be confirmed,” McConnell told Fox News Sunday.
“The way in which that occurs is in the hands of the Democratic minority. I think during the course of the week we’ll find out exactly how this will end. But it will end with his confirmation,” McConnell said.
The final vote by the Senate on the Gorsuch nomination is expected on Friday.