As Democrats prepare to attempt a historically unprecedented filibuster of Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch, it’s important to be able to separate fact from fiction as debunked talking points are repeated by those who oppose the nominee.
Here are seven key facts to remember:
- There has never been a successful partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee. A Democrat-led partisan filibuster would be the first in U.S. Senate history, breaking centuries of precedent.
- Democrat Sens. Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, Dick Durbin, Patty Murray, Patrick Leahy, Ron Wyden, Jack Reed, Tom Carper, Bill Nelson, Debbie Stabenow, Maria Cantwell, and Bob Menendez all previously supported Gorsuch’s 2006 nomination (did not raise objection during a voice vote) to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
- The American Bar Association unanimously gave Gorsuch its highest recommendation of “well qualified,” which Leahy and Schumer previously referred to as the “gold standard,” removing any doubt as to his qualifications to serve.
- Schumer decided to attempt to block any Trump Supreme Court nominee before Gorsuch was even named or testified. Here are two key quotes. On MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” (Jan. 3):
Schumer: “It’s hard for me to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump would choose that would get Republican support that we could support.”
Maddow: “So you will do your best to hold the seat open.”
And on CNN’s “State of the Union” (Jan. 22):
Schumer: “ … we absolutely would keep the seat open. … We will fight it tooth-and-nail, as long as we have to.”
- President Bill Clinton’s and President Barack Obama’s first two nominees were each confirmed without needing 60 votes.
- The Washington Post gave Schumer’s “60 vote standard” claim “Two Pinocchios.” The Post wrote on Feb. 2:
Democrats are being slippery with their language. Sixty votes is not ‘a standard’ for Supreme Court confirmations, as two of the current justices on the court did not meet that supposed standard.
- After Sen. Bernie Sanders repeated this claim, The Washington Post gave him “Three Pinocchios,” saying, “There is no ‘traditional’ 60-vote ‘standard’ or ‘rule’ for Supreme Court nominations, no matter how much or how often Democrats claim otherwise.”
Gorsuch has an incredible legal mind and a humility that keeps him grounded.
He has cleared every hurdle placed in front of him, so the minority has resorted to falsehoods and new standards along the way.
It’s quite clear that if he isn’t qualified, then nobody is. And, if you’d filibuster this judge, it’s obvious you’d filibuster anyone.
So, the actions by those who want to repeat falsehoods and join a filibuster is purely politics. Because, if you’re voting on his qualifications, it’s an easy “yes.”