Friday, March 31, 2017

Democratic Senators Need to Filibuster and Vote NO on Gorsuch! (Updated Sunday, April 2)

It's one week before the Senate votes for or against a new life long Supreme Court Justice.  Do you know where your Senator is?    (Updated Sunday, April 2nd) 

Neil Gorsuch is too conservative, too right-wing to be confirmed to a lifelong appointment to the Supreme Court.

Even though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republicans have threatened to change the rules and require only a majority to confirm Gorsuch (the so-called "nuclear" option) if the Democrats filibuster Gorsuch, the Democrats must stick to the filibuster and not let themselves be subject to Republican extortion.  (This article is not about why I believe that Gorsuch is not the right man for the Supreme Court; it is about the logistics needed to keep him from attaining that seat as a
lifelong associate justice.)

Action items are listed at the bottom of this article.

Sixty votes in the Senate are needed to break the filibuster.

As of Sunday afternoon, the Democrats need 5 more Senators to commit to the filibuster. 

The Republicans have a firm 52 votes for Gorsuch: therefore, they need 8 of the 48 Democratic/Independent Senators to vote with them for cloture (to end the filibuster).

Democrats voting for Gorsuch?  Why?

Now, why would any self-respecting Democratic Senator vote for the conservative right-wing Gorsuch?  Unfortunately, some Democratic Senators from some very red Republican states fear for their jobs and a few of them are up for reelection in 2018.  They may be hearing from their constituents in those very red states and they may believe they need to vote for cloture.. which is the same as voting FOR Gorsuch.  So far three Senators from very red states...  Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Joe Donnelly of Indiana .. have announced they will break with the Democrats/Independents and vote for Gorsuch.

The Color-Coded List:

Based on this article at CNN, here's the color-coded list of the 48 Democrats/Independents and their status on the filibuster and nomination of Gorsuch.  The list is alphabetical in order by state. The color key is based on information that was last updated by CNN on Sunday afternoon, April 2nd.  CNN plans on updating this list as information becomes available, and we will do our best to keep this color-coded list up to date.

The Key

Bright Blue:  A solid "no" on both cloture and the Gorsuch nomination itself.
Purple/Pink:  Unclear as to whether or not the Senator will vote no on both cloture and the Gorsuch nomination. (See the CNN article for specifics about each Senator.)   
Red:  Senator has announced that he/she WILL vote for cloture and vote for Gorsuch.

  • California:         Kamala Harris
                            Dianne Feinstein
  • Colorado:          Michael Bennet
  • Connecticut:     Chris Murphy
                             Richard Blumenthal
  • Delaware:          Tom Carper
                              Chris Coons
  • Florida:              Bill Nelson
  • Hawaii:               Mazie Hirono
                              Brian Schatz    
  • Illinois:               Dick Durbin
                              Tammy Duckworth
  • Indiana:              Joe Donnelly
  • Maine:                Angus King (Independent)
  • Maryland:           Ben Cardin
                               Chris Van Hollen
  • Massachusetts:   Elizabeth Warren
                               Ed Markey
  • Michigan:            Gary Peters
                               Debbie Stabenow 
  • Minnesota:          Al Franken
                               Tammy Klobuchar
  • Missouri:              Claire McCaskill
  • Montana:             Jon Tester
  • Nevada:               Catherine Cortez Masto
  • New Hampshire:  Jeanne Shaheen
                               Maggie Hassan
  • New Jersey:        Corey Booker
                               Bob Menendez 
  • New Mexico:        Martin Heinrich
                               Tom Udall
  • New York:           Chuck Shumer
                               Kirsten Gillibrand
  • North Dakota:      Heidi Heitkamp
  • Ohio:                   Sherrod Brown
  • Oregon:               Jeff Merkley
                                Ron Wyden     
  • Pennsylvania:      Bob Casey Jr.
  • Rhode Island:      Sheldon Whitehouse
                                Jack Reed
  • Vermont:              Bernie Sanders (Independent)
                                Pat Leahy 
  • Virginia:               Tim Kaine
                               Mark Warner
  • Washington:        Patty Murray
                               Maria Cantwell
  • West Virginia:     Joe Manchin
  • Wisconsin:          Tammy Baldwin 

Action Items

If your Senator is bright blue in the list above, thank them.  Our Democratic Senators (and Representatives) look pretty tired to me lately.  They need a thank you either via email, phone, or on their Facebook page.  Especially thank Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania.  Apparently these three Senators, all up for reelection in 2018, were targeted by the Republicans to vote against the filibuster as they represent states that (narrowly) voted for Donald Trump in November.  But those three held firm!  We should ALL thank them, no matter what state we are from.

If your Senator is purple/pink in the list above, you may want to link over to the CNN article to see exactly what comment he or she made about the Gorsuch nomination.  Then you may wish to contact them via email or phone and ask for a clear comment about a clear vote in favor of the filibuster and against Gorsuch.

If your Senator is red in the list above (or if you have Republican Senators), it is unclear that you should do anything other than work to turn your state more blue!  However, I really do believe that writing or calling your Senator about your opposition to Gorsuch IS important, even in a red state like West Virginia or North Dakota.


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