Liberal advocacy groups are issuing a sharp rebuke to Senate Democrats, who they say have failed to sufficiently fight President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick.
In a letter to be delivered Monday and obtained by POLITICO, 11 progressive groups warn that the 48-member minority “must get out in front of this nomination process and refuse to be bullied by President Trump as he stampedes on the rights of Americans.”
Since Neil Gorsuch was nominated on Jan. 31, “Democrats have failed to demonstrate a strong, unified resistance to this nominee despite the fact that he is an ultra-conservative jurist who will undermine our basic freedoms and threaten the independence of the federal judiciary,” wrote the groups, led by the abortion-rights advocates at NARAL Pro-Choice America. “We need you to do better.”
Advocates describe Gorsuch as “more conservative” than the late Justice Antonin Scalia, whom he would replace, and more concerned with “propping up corporations and special interests” than defending the public.
The nudge to Senate Democrats, some of whom have praised the well-liked Gorsuch after meeting with him, comes two weeks ahead of his confirmation hearings and as grassroots activists ramp up their campaign for a filibuster of his nomination.
Fomenting Democratic resistance to Gorsuch is the next test for a growing liberal movement that has fueled rowdy town-hall confrontations with GOP lawmakers and lured millions to anti-Trump demonstrations since his inauguration.
“Americans are marching in the streets, demanding that our government stands up for our democratic ideals,” the liberal groups added.
Democratic messaging in the month since Gorsuch’s nomination has focused more on defending Obamacare and highlighting Trump’s ties to Russia than criticizing Gorsuch — a balance that the liberal groups signing Monday’s letter appear to dislike.
Senate Democratic leaders say they expect Gorsuch will have to clear a 60-vote hurdle to win Senate confirmation, though some of the caucus’ more electorally-vulnerable members are less inclined to support a filibuster of the appellate court judge.
Senate Republican leaders hope to hold a final confirmation vote soon after Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings conclude, before the chamber recesses for two weeks in early April.
Also signing onto Monday’s letter are the labor union SEIU, MoveOn.org, the environmental group 350 Action, CREDO Action, the Working Families Party, Demos Action, the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, and the Communications Workers of America.
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