April 5, 2017

Jeff Merkley ended his 15-hour filibuster like this:

So let me return to where I started yesterday evening. Which... we are facing three very significant problems. The first problem is that for the first time in history, we are considering a nominee for a stolen Supreme Court seat. And that alone should be a reason for everyone who cares about this institution to turn down this nominee and to convey to the president that the only legitimate nominee for this open seat is Merrick Garland. Because as a senate, we have a stake in the legitimacy of our work and that of the court and to confirm anyone but Merrick Garland to this seat confirms the Senate as the thief who took the seat for the first time in US History and transported to another president in an effort to pack the court. And furthermore, if there is a person confirmed to the seat other than Merrick Garland, it casts a shadow over every 5-4 decision that individual participates in the years to come. It destroys the credibility of the position. It makes the Supreme Court into a political body to which clever campaign tactics have delivered a majority for one ideological vision over another. Let us not enter into that position of destroying the credibility of the Xenate process and the integrity of the court in one fell swoop. And second of all, we should not be considering a nominee from a president who is under investigation for conspiring with Russia to change the outcome of an election. We don't know where those investigations will lead, but what we do know is this places a big cloud over the legitimacy of him holding the office. Let us clear up that cloud. Let us answer the questions that have been raised from a week ago Monday. FBI Director Comey came to Capitol Hill to talk to the House to say yes, those investigations are underway. And we know what the diabolical practices of the Russians were. We know that they created fake news. We know that they had a team of roughly a thousand people sending out contrived social media messages to comment on the events of the day to make it look like American citizens were commenting and to make one candidate look very good and the other candidate look very bad. And finally, this is an extreme nominee from the far right who doesn't believe in the fundamental vision of we the people and makes decision after decision through tortured, twisted, contrived arguments defined for the powerful over the people and that is unacceptable. Thank you, Mr. President. ...

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