Montana Democrat Jon Tester announced Sunday that he will both oppose Neil Gorsuch's confirmation to the Supreme Court and join fellow Democrats in filibustering. It's a strong, principled statement that would work for any Democrat running in a red or purple state in 2018. Which is precisely what Tester is doing. He's not going to be afraid to explain his principled stand to constituents.
"Judge Gorsuch is a smart man but that doesn't make him right for a lifetime appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court," Tester said in written remarks released Sunday evening. "I cannot support a nominee who refuses to answer important questions.
"With Judge Gorsuch on the bench, I am deeply concerned that dark money will continue to drown out the voices and votes of citizens, the court will stand between women and their doctors, and the government will reach into the private lives of law-abiding Americans," he stated. "These are not Montana values, which is why I cannot support this nomination." […]
Tester said he met with Gorsuch "face-to-face, giving him a fair hearing, and reviewing his qualifications."
"With Judge Gorsuch on the bench, I am deeply concerned that dark money will continue to drown out the voices and votes of citizens, the court will stand between women and their doctors, and the government will reach into the private lives of law-abiding Americans," Tester wrote.
Those are more than valid concerns about Gorsuch, an astoundingly opaque nominee who refused to answer the most basic of questions and who did come into the process with millions in dark money being spent on his behalf. Tester is doing his job, without regard for what Republicans might decide to do—go nuclear and get rid of the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees or not. As it should be.
Which should have occurred to Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, who has decided to give Gorsuch his vote. "After meeting with Judge Gorsuch, conducting a thorough review of his record, and closely following his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I believe that he is a qualified jurist who will base his decisions on his understanding of the law and is well-respected among his peers," Donnelly says. That makes three Democrats, including Heidi Heitkamp (ND) and Joe Manchin (WV) who will vote with Republicans. But it also makes 36 Democrats who will filibuster, so far. We need five more.
Ready to take action? Click here to call your Democratic senator(s) and tell them to filibuster Neil Gorsuch's confirmation if they're on the undecided list.