BREAKING: Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley ends marathon Senate speech against Supreme Court nominee after more than 15 hours.— The Associated Press (@AP) April 5, 2017
UPDATE 10:26 a.m. EST:
Merkley's protest is over.
WATCH | Sen. Jeff Merkley protested Neil Gorsuch's nomination.
ORIGINAL STORY: Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) has a lot to say about Judge Neil Gorsuch. He hasn't stopped talking about him since 7 p.m. Tuesday night.
Merkley says the Senate should be discussing Merrick Garland, the judge nominated by former President Obama to replace Justice Antonin Scalia. He insists Senate Republicans' obstruction of Garland's nomination is an "assault on democracy." Republicans have threatened to use the "nuclear option" and rewrite Senate rules in the event of a Democratic filibuster.
To keep his marathon protest going, Merkley has read from a Politico article critical of Gorsuch, a blog post he wrote for The Huffington Post calling Gorsuch "too extreme" and criticized some of Gorsuch's rulings, including the Hobby Lobby case that determined businesses didn't have to pay for employees' birth control.
Gorsuch promised to speak "as long as I'm able."
If this seat is successfully stolen, no President will ever get a nominee through opposition Senate again. Awful precedent.— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) April 5, 2017
He's also warned that the "nuclear option" would be danger to future Senates.
Merkley was joined by other Democratic Senators.
Others cheered him on from the sidelines.
As an Oregonian I am extremely embarrassed of Jeff Merkley. He does Not represent the values of southern Oregonians. He Must be voted out.— BlissCo (@blissco1) April 5, 2017
But opponents that stayed up for the speech weren't impressed.
Hey Merkley, talk til ur blue in the face, til you piss in ur shoes. Gorsuch will still be our next Sup. Crt. Justice....Stupid Dimocraps!— Thomas Maierle (@eaglekwest) April 5, 2017
Some insisted whatever he didn't wouldn't stop Gorsuch's nomination.