Merkley vows to fight Trump's nominee to fill 'stolen' Supreme Court
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Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleySenate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo Lawmakers call on Olympic committee to press China on human rights abuses Senate Democrats call on Biden to push for COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers at WTO MORE (D-Ore.) vowed to block President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee in a scathing statement Tuesday evening.

“This is a stolen seat being filled by an illegitimate and extreme nominee, and I will do everything in my power to stand up against this assault on the Court,” Merkley said in a statement.

Merkley called Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, a federal judge, a far-right "extremist."

Trump nominated Gorsuch, a conservative on the Colorado-based 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.


“This strategy of packing the court, if successful, could threaten fundamental rights in America, including workers’ right to organize, women’s reproductive rights, and the rights of ordinary citizens to have their voices heard in elections rather than being drowned out by the corrupting influence of dark money from the richest Americans,” Merkley said.

Senate Republicans refused to give former President Obama’s pick, Merrick Garland, a vote or a hearing last year, and the Supreme Court has been short a justice for nearly a year.

Merkley has said he will filibuster any Trump Supreme Court pick that is not Garland.

“If President Trump were serious about healing the divisions in America and undoing the damage wrought by Senate Republicans last year, he could have named Merrick Garland to fill this seat,” Merkley wrote. “Garland is a centrist jurist who is respected on both sides of the aisle. Instead, he doubled down on division by picking an ideological and extreme nominee to satisfy the far right.”