Sen. Merkley, ‘Our Citizens Expect More’

Former Filibuster Foe Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) Gives In To ‘Powerful Interest Groups’

“Senate Democrats are going to try to bring down President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick no matter who the president chooses to the fill the current vacancy. 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…” (“Senate Dems Will Filibuster Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee,” Politico, 1/30/17)

Sen. Merkley Used To Claim ‘The Norms And Traditions Of The U.S. Senate Regarding Nominations … Is An Up-Or-Down Vote,’ And Denounced ‘Powerful Interest Groups’ That Were Behind The ‘Paralysis And Partisanship’ That ‘Hurt Our Nation’

SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D-OR): “[W]e cannot allow this process in which a minority says: When our President is in charge we are going to insist on up-or-down votes, but when a President of the other party is in charge, we are not going to allow those votes.” (Sen. Merkley, Congressional Record, S.8295, 11/20/2013)

  • MERKLEY: “Let's be clear: There should not be an ‘our President’ and ‘their President.’ The President is the President of the entire country, of the blue States and the red States, altogether. The judicial system serves all of us regardless of our party identities. It is our responsibility to make it work.” (Sen. Merkley, Congressional Record, S.8295, 11/20/2013)
  • MERKLEY: “The filibuster, once used only on issues of personal principle, is now used regularly as an instrument of partisan politics. It hurts our ability to take on the big challenges we face as Americans. And we need to fix it. We must put an end to the secret, silent filibuster that is haunting the Senate.” (Sen. Merkley, Press Release, 1/04/2013)
  • MERKLEY: “[T]he Senate is broken... Our role of advice and consent has been turned into obstruct and delay in terms of nominations for the executive branch and the judiciary. We have a constitutional responsibility to express our opinion, but this body, by using the filibuster, has prevented Senators from advising and consenting, either approving or disapproving these nominations.” (Sen. Merkley, Congressional Record, S. 37, 1/05/2011)

Now Sen. Merkley Has Fallen In Line Behind ‘Powerful Interest Groups’

“Democrats Launch Scorched-Earth Strategy Against Trump: What began as a high-minded discussion about how to position the Democratic Party against President Donald Trump appears to be nearing its conclusion. The bulk of the party has settled on a scorched-earth, not-now-not-ever model of opposition. In legislative proposals, campaign promises, donor pitches and even in some Senate hearings, Democrats have opted for a hard-line, give-no-quarter posture, a reflection of a seething party base that will have it no other way. …teeth-baring, no-holds-barred opposition.” (“Democrats Launch Scorched-Earth Strategy Against Trump,” Politico, 1/26/2017)

“The mobilization against Mr. Trump began even before his victory was official. At just after midnight on Election Day, panicked immigration rights activists gathered for a conference call to strategize. A few days later, more than 80 representatives of 57 progressive groups convened in the offices of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights in Washington. The mood was intense, angry and unforgiving, according to people who attended the confidential organizing session, which included representatives from labor, environmental groups, immigration activists, gay rights and civil rights organizations.” (“Obama May Jump Into Fray As Democrats Counter Trump,” The New York Times, 11/19/16)

  • “Those groups, led by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, People for the American Way and the Alliance for Justice, have worked together on Supreme Court nominations since they helped to block conservative nominee Robert Bork in 1987.” (“Nomination Politics Begin For Sotomayor,” USA Today, 5/28/09)

LEFTIST GROUP PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY: “…a Supreme Court to which a President Trump is able to nominate even one or two new justices. …the consequences to all Americans would be disastrous. …all Americans must keep this nightmare scenario in mind as they head to the polls in November.” (“The Disastrous Consequences Of A Trump Supreme Court,” People For The American Way, 9/9/16)

LEFTIST ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE: “‘We are prepared to oppose every name on Trump’s list,’ Nan Aron, the president of the Alliance for Justice, one of the Democratic-leaning groups that has been planning for the court battle since Mr. Trump’s election. ‘The progressive, civil rights community will be united in opposition to either of those prospects or anyone else on the list.’” (“A Supreme Court Pick Is Promised. A Political Brawl Is Certain,” The New York Times, 1/25/17)


Related Issues: Senate Democrats, Supreme Court, Judicial Nominations