Progressives set to declare victory on Gorsuch, one way or the other

Progressives set to declare victory on Gorsuch, one way or the other
© Greg Nash

Progressives are declaring an early victory over Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination.

Even if President Trump’s pick is confirmed after a historic Senate vote on Thursday to end the minority party's ability to filibuster Supreme Court nominations, liberal groups think they’ll win.

They predict that Republicans will face a backlash over changing the Senate’s rules and will have to own any controversial decisions handed down by the Supreme Court heading into the 2018 midterms and 2020 presidential election.

ADVERTISEMENT
“It's been our belief since election night that Democrats' job is to do everything they can to block Trump's interest and agenda,” said Heidi Hess, the senior campaign manager for Credo Action. “We're absolutely in support of the Democratic Party acting like the opposition party.”

Kaylie Hanson Long, a spokeswoman for NARAL Pro-Choice America, added separately that if Republicans decide to employ the "nuclear option" on Gorsuch, they will be changing the rules for “a president under active FBI investigation for potential ties to Russia.”

“Let’s be clear: the decision to blow up the Senate is squarely in the hands of Republicans, and Republicans alone. And it will be only Republican votes to change the rules,” she wrote in a memo to reporters.

Outside groups are stepping up their attacks on a handful of vulnerable Republicans.

The People’s Defense — a coalition of outside groups led by NARAL— released digital ad campaign worth at least $100,000 targeting Republicans in Arizona, Alaska, Maine, Nevada and South Carolina, warning them that “history is watching.”

GOP Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump readies for Putin summit: 'He’s not my enemy’ Overnight Defense: Fallout from tense NATO summit | Senators push to block ZTE deal in defense bill | Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to run Afghan war On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Lawmakers demand answers from Mnuchin on tariffs | Fed chief lays out stakes of Trump trade war | Consumer prices rise at highest rate in six years | Feds to appeal AT&T merger ruling MORE (Ariz.) and Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerJacky Rosen hits Dean Heller over health care in first negative ad GOP moderates hint at smooth confirmation ahead for Kavanaugh GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE MORE (Nev.) are considered the two most vulnerable GOP senators up for reelection in 2018.

The Constitutional Responsibility Project also released last-minute ads targeting Republicans in Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, Nebraska, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee launched newspaper ads targeting Flake, Heller and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzThe Memo: Trump leaves chaos in his wake in UK Beto O'Rourke is dominating Ted Cruz in enthusiasm and fundraising — but he's still headed for defeat GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE MORE (R-Texas), who is up for reelection in 2018 and already has a Democratic opponent, as well as red-state Democratic Sens. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyDoug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Overnight Health Care: Official defends suspending insurer payments | What Kavanaugh's nomination means for ObamaCare | Panel approves bill to halt employer mandate MORE (Ind.), Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinDoug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (W.Va.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampDoug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee Red-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick MORE (N.D.).

A handful of red-state and centrist Democratic senators have cast doubt over the strategy of blocking Gorsuch, who will fill a seat held by former conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. They’ve suggested it might be better to have the standoff over the next court vacancy.

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetHarley stunner spikes tension with Trump over trade policy Races to watch in Tuesday’s primaries Democrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor MORE (D-Colo.), who is opposing the Democratic filibuster against Gorsuch, said earlier this week that he had spent weeks trying to avoid the “nuclear option.”

"If we go down this road we will undermine the minority's ability to check this administration and all those who follow," he said from the Senate floor.

He warned that if senators don't back down Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsConservatives moving to impeach Rosenstein soon: report Senators urge DOJ to probe whether Russians posed as Islamic extremist hackers to harass US military families The Hill's Morning Report — Trump readies for Putin summit: 'He’s not my enemy’ MORE or EPA Administer Scott Pruitt, who Democrats have serious concerns about, could be nominated to the Supreme Court and Democrats would have no tools to block them.

Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillRed-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Analysis: Dark money groups have funded 44 percent of 2018 congressional ads Beto O'Rourke is dominating Ted Cruz in enthusiasm and fundraising — but he's still headed for defeat MORE (D-Mo.), who is opposing Gorsuch’s nomination, raised similar concerns during a private fundraiser, audio of which was leaked by the Missouri Republican Party.