Looks like that phone-banking has paid off.
This afternoon, Washington Senator Maria Cantwell announced in a press release that she will vote against confirming Trump Supreme Court pick Judge Neil Gorsuch, who conservatives want as the replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Cantwell also made clear that she will join a Democratic filibuster of Gorsuch.
(Last week, Sen. Patty Murray said she'll vote 'no' on Gorsuch and join a filibuster against him.)
In her statement, Cantwell cited Gorsuch's rulings against the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and women, as well as his ruling against expanding education opportunities for children with disabilities.
Read her whole rationale below.
“I take very seriously the solemn responsibility of the Senate to provide advice and consent on nominations to our federal courts. If confirmed, Judge Gorsuch will have a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, and his impact on the lives of all Americans cannot be overstated.”
“Judge Gorsuch is commonly referred to as a proponent of originalism and textualism. He believes the U.S. Constitution should be interpreted by following the original intentions of those who drafted it as closely as possible.
While no one expects Judge Gorsuch to reveal how he would rule on particular cases, during his Senate confirmation hearing he did not give Senators enough background about his judicial philosophy.
Gorsuch told the Judiciary Committee he recognizes privacy rights. However, his earlier writings on unenumerated constitutional rights contradict this statement. This contradiction raises questions about what Judge Gorsuch believes, and how and if he will protect critical privacy rights in the future.
I am also troubled by Judge Gorsuch’s decision in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) case which was recently rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court. Gorsuch ruled to limit education opportunities for children with disabilities. He had concluded that to comply with the law the school’s responsibility to the student was to make progress that was merely no ‘more than de minimis’ The Supreme Court held that public schools districts must give students with disabilities the opportunity to make meaningful progress. This ruling impacts more than one hundred thousand students across Washington state.
Judge Gorsuch has concluded Chevron vs. NRDC should be overturned. This long-standing precedent known as the Chevron doctrine provides that judges should defer to reasonable agency interpretations of ambiguous statutory language. It allows agencies to get expert input for agency decisions and regulations. Overturning this doctrine could make it easier for courts to overturn important agency decisions protecting public health and the environment.
Gorsuch has also ruled against women’s rights and LGBTQ rights. He has frequently sided with employers over employees and favored corporate interests over public interests.
Many difficult issues will come before the court in the months and years ahead. We need a U.S. Supreme Court justice who will stand up for equal justice for all. I still have questions and concerns about Judge Gorsuch. Therefore, I cannot support cloture and will not support the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Currently, 31 Democrats have stated they will filibuster Gorsuch's confirmation—but they still need 10 more votes to maintain the filibuster next week, The Washington Post reports.
There’s no rule that says a Supreme Court nominee has to get 60 votes to get confirmed. Like everything before the Senate, Gorsuch needs to get a simple majority—so 51 if all 100 senators vote. Historically, Supreme Court nominees have easily sailed past that. But Supreme Court nominations have become more partisan lately. And Democrats are on their way to pulling off the first successful partisan filibuster in Supreme Court history.
"Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has indicated that he would get rid of the filibuster to put Gorsuch on the bench, although it's unclear whether he has enough votes to reform the centuries-old rule," the Post reports.