Over the last several weeks, Senate Democrats have played it coy when it comes to Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. On Fox News Sunday, for instance, Dick Durbin effectively refused to comment on whether or not Democrats are prepared to filibuster a nominee, which has not happened since Abe Fortas was blocked by Senate Republicans in 1968.
But on Monday afternoon—a day before Trump is set to announce his Supreme Court nominee—Politico reported that Senate Democrats are prepared to use the filibuster to block any nominee brought by Donald Trump. “This is a stolen seat. This is the first time a Senate majority has stolen a seat,” Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley told Politico. “We will use every lever in our power to stop this.” So, unless Trump nominates Merrick Garland—which, uh, is not going to happen tomorrow or any other day ever—expect a filibuster of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
This posture is markedly different than the one offered by Democrats just a few weeks ago, when they quickly confirmed Donald Trump’s national security team. But moves to appease Trump have been met with thousands of calls, emails, and letters. In the wake of Trump’s executive order blocking people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the country and Saturday’s spontaneous nationwide protests at airports, Democrats seemed to finally get the message: Their constituents want them to block Trump at every turn.
On Monday, Democrats rejected unanimous consent on the committee vote for Treasury nominee and foreclosure enthusiast Steven Mnuchin, suggesting that they may have finally united in opposition to Trump and his extreme cabinet picks. It’s not yet clear who Trump will nominate for the Supreme Court, but given his list of Heritage-approved nominees, it’s safe to say it won’t be a Garland-esque judge. It took three months, but Democrats are finally figuring out that obstructing Trump is what their constituents want.