Senators are speaking out against the forced Senate rule change that will allow Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed to the Supreme Court by a simple majority vote rather than the traditional 60 vote requirement. And among them is Kristen Gillibrand, the junior U.S. senator from New York. Earlier in the day, she tweeted a similar sentiment reading, "Changing the rules for President Trump to get his Supreme Court nominee through is an historic mistake. #StopGorsuch." If Gorsuch is confirmed, he will fill the spot left vacant by the late Antonin Scalia.
Gillibrand, an outspoken advocate for increasing the number of women elected officials, wasn't alone in opposing the rule change in recent days, and she certainly isn't alone in opposing it now that the change has come to pass. Senators are quickly taking to the internet to make their positions clear.
Among Democrats' reasons for opposing Gorsuch are the GOP's treatment of Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland and what Sen. Chuck Schumer called the judge's “right wing, pro-corporate, special interest agenda.” During his nomination speech, Trump painted a different portrait of Gorsuch, saying, "Judge Gorsuch has a superb intellect, an unparalleled legal education, and a commitment to interpreting the Constitution according to its text. He will make an incredible Justice as soon as the Senate confirms him."
Irresponsible for our democracy. https://t.co/EqCHb1NtgO— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) April 6, 2017
Several other Senators released statements. Some focused on Gorsuch, like Sen. Kamala Harris' strong words in a tweet following the Senate rule change.
Judge Gorsuch record shows that he lacks sound judgment to uphold justice. https://t.co/I9tC2X3tcz— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) April 6, 2017
Others focused on the Senate GOP and Republican leadership.
My statement on Republican Leadership's decision to change Senate rules in order to confirm Judge Gorsuch: pic.twitter.com/kM8m2JMYkg— Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (@SenatorShaheen) April 6, 2017
Senate Republicans just abandoned tradition & long-standing rules – possibly causing irreparable damage to our American political process.— Sen. Maria Cantwell (@SenatorCantwell) April 6, 2017
Still, a number of Republican Senators took to social media to voice their steadfast support for Gorsuch, as well.
Judge Gorsuch will be confirmed. Breaking longstanding precedent is unfortunate, but Senate Democrats are to blame: https://t.co/PN3b0JxEMH— Senator John Boozman (@JohnBoozman) April 6, 2017
Judge Gorsuch's rulings will be just & based on the letter of the law. pic.twitter.com/AQ6Sp0kWKS— David Perdue (@sendavidperdue) April 6, 2017
The effects of this historic rule change may not be fully understood for years. But Sen. John McCain to a moment to talk about it on the Senate floor on April 5:
This isn't the first time Senate has changed the rules on confirming presidential nominees to court, but it is the biggest rule change when it comes to nominations to the Supreme Court specifically. The final vote for Gorsuch's confirmation is set to take place on April 7.