Merkley Holds Senate Floor for Over 15 Hours to Stand Up Against Gorsuch Nomination

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley just left the Senate chamber, concluding more than 15 hours spent speaking overnight to protest Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Merkley took the floor at 6:46pm ET, vowing to go as long as he was able, and yielded at 10:13am ET. Merkley’s speech was among the top ten longest in U.S. Senate history. 

In his speech, Merkley said of Senate Republicans’ 2016 theft of the Supreme Court seat vacated during President Obama’s term, “For the first time in U.S. history, a seat has been stolen from one president and delivered to another in a court-packing scheme. If that were to succeed, it would set a precedent that will haunt the Court for decades to come.”

Merkley went on to explain Gorsuch’s activist history of twisting the law to find in favor of the privileged and powerful, often at the expense of workers, children, women and the disabled.  

“If the seat hadn’t been stolen and we were simply considering President Trump’s nominee under ordinary circumstances, what would we find?” asked Merkley of Gorsuch. “Well, we would find a far right-wing Justice completely outside of the mainstream. 

“He [Gorsuch] is a lifelong conservative activist, rewriting the law to make it something that it was never intended to be.”

Full video of Senator Merkley’s floor remarks is available on his Facebook page at