Democrat Sen. Jeff Merkley Finally Gives Up On 15-Hour Senate Filibuster

Democrat Sen Jeff Merkley Finally Gives Up On 15-Hour Senate Filibuster

Democrat Senator Jeff Merkley finally yielded the Senate Floor Wednesday morning, ending a 15-hour protest aimed at halting the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

Standing in front of a blown up version of the U.S. Constitution, Merkley began speaking around 7 p.m. on Tuesday and vowed to talk “as long as I’m able to.”

The Oregon senator protested Republican’s decision last year to block Merrick Garland — former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick.

“I’ve been here through the night talking about this to say how important this is that we not do this, that to proceed to fill this stolen seat that will damage the court for decades to come and damage the Senate for decades to come,” Merkley said.

“Such a theft never, ever has happened in the history of our nation,” he added. “If you can steal one seat and get away with it, the temptation next time is to steal another seat.”

Merkley’s protest inspired various social media hashtags, such as #StopGorsuch and #HoldTheFloor

He received support from his Democratic colleagues, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren sending encouragement over Twitter.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also praised Merkley, letting him know that his protest is “what we’re all watching tonight.”

However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Merkley’s speech will do little to change the outcome.

The Kentucky Republican is prepared to invoke the “nuclear option” which would lower the vote threshold required to confirm Gorsuch from 60 to 51.

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