Dem senator on Gorsuch: 'The dark deed is done’

Dem senator on Gorsuch: 'The dark deed is done’
© Greg Nash

Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Energy: Oil giants meet with Trump at White House | Interior extends tenure of controversial land management chief | Oil prices tick up on hopes of Russia-Saudi deal Oil giants meet at White House amid talk of buying strategic reserves Democrats ask EPA, Interior to pause rulemaking amid coronavirus MORE (D-Ore.) on Thursday decried Senate Republicans triggering the so-called nuclear option to advance Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee.

Merkley, who launched an all-night protest on the Senate floor Tuesday in opposition to Gorsuch's nomination, said in tweets that "the dark deed is done."

His comments came after Senate Republicans voted Thursday to strip Democrats of the power to filibuster Supreme Court nominees like Gorsuch.

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Senators voted 52-48 along party lines to lower the threshold for advancing nominees from 60 votes to a simple majority. 

The historic step was immediately followed by a 55-45 vote to end debate on Gorsuch’s nomination and set up a final confirmation vote on Friday.

Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinPoliticians mourn the death of Bill Withers Pressure mounts for national parks closure amid coronavirus White House, Senate reach deal on trillion stimulus package MORE (W.Va.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn Heitkamp70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents Susan Collins set to play pivotal role in impeachment drama Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA MORE (N.D.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyEx-Sen. Joe Donnelly endorses Biden Lobbying world 70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents MORE (Ind.) joined with Republicans to advance Trump’s Supreme Court pick.

A Senate standoff had been brewing between Democrats and Republicans for weeks before Thursday’s events.

Democrats still angry over the Senate GOP's refusal to give former President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, a hearing or vote last year vowed to resist Gorsuch’s nomination.

Republicans have argued Democrats would resist any nominee from Trump for the nation’s highest court, regardless of their qualifications.

“The opposition to this particular nominee is more about the man that nominated him and the party he represents than the nominee himself,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers outline proposals for virtual voting Overnight Health Care: Trump calls report on hospital shortages 'another fake dossier' | Trump weighs freezing funding to WHO | NY sees another 731 deaths | States battle for supplies | McConnell, Schumer headed for clash Phase-four virus relief hits a wall MORE (R-Ky.) said before Thursday’s votes.

Trump nominated Gorsuch in February, arguing he would make a worthy successor to conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, whose death in early 2016 left the court mostly deadlocked on ideological lines.