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Merkley’s Filibuster Hypocrisy

While Senator Merkley is pulling an all-nighter on the Senate floor, I wanted to flag some of his previous remarks about filibustering Supreme Court nominees and a comment from America Rising:

“Senator Merkley’s all-night speech is a reminder of those all-nighters before a test in college: a last ditch effort that didn’t change the results. The first ever partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee in the Senate’s history won’t be successful in stopping this highly-qualified Judge and while Senator Merkley’s desperate floor speech may serve him well with his looney liberal base, it also shows how Senate Democrats have been co-opted by the extreme activists in their party.”

Merkley criticized the filibuster being used for Supreme Court nominations:

“It should be a simple majority,” Merkley insisted in an interview with The Huffington Post, adding that he would stand firm even if Republicans keep the Senate and gain control of the presidency two years from now. “Not long ago, Supreme Court justices who were highly controversial — it was a simple majority. ‘Advice and consent’ was never envisioned as a check that involved a minority of the Senate being able to block a presidential [nomination].” (Huffington Post, 11/24/14)

Last October, Merkley even hinted at a Senate rule change if Hillary were elected president:

“A rule change should be a last resort,” Senator Jeff Merkley told me from New Hampshire, where he was campaigning for Maggie Hassan. On the other hand, “If there’s deep abuse, we’re going to have to consider rules changes. I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that.” (New Republic, 10/31/16)

Merkley did not regret joining Harry Reid in invoking the nuclear option in 2014:

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, a champion in the push to reform the filibuster, said, “I have absolutely no regret” in invoking the nuclear option. (CNN, 12/6/16)

This from Senator Merkley during the 2013 Filibuster reform debate:

“The American people want this institution to function. They want to see it take on the big issues. They don’t want to see the entire calendar of the year eaten up by paralyzing process on nominations.” (Politico, 11/21/13)

“The filibuster, once used only on issues of personal principle, is now used regularly as an instrument of partisan politics,” Merkley said. “It hurts our ability to take on the big challenges we face as Americans. And we need to fix it…” (The Hill, 1/4/13)

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