he's still going!!!
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) has spent 14 hours holding the floor of the Senate in protest of President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch — and he's still going. "The majority team in this chamber decided to steal a Supreme Court seat," Merkley said when he began speaking on Tuesday night. "Again, such a theft never, ever has happened in the history of our nation."
Merkley isn't technically filibustering Gorsuch's nomination, because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already filed for a move to vote, triggering a 30-hour debate period. At the end of the period, Republicans are expected to change the Senate rules to discontinue the filibuster, since they do not have the 60 votes required to reach cloture.
Merkley, then, is technically "just making a very long speech," Josh Billinson of Independent Journal Review writes.
So far, Merkley has read from speeches and documents, including a letter by Coretta Scott King, and slammed Gorsuch's record on sexual discrimination cases. Merkley has not eaten or sat down since he began talking, with his staff citing his Ironman triathlon finishes in 2013 and 2016 as proof of his seemingly inhumane endurance, Vox reports.
NBC News' Frank Thorp reports "if Merkley's still going at 9:30 a.m., the Senate will adjourn and start a new day, when leaders will speak." Merkley began speaking at 6:46 p.m. on Tuesday and can be watched live below. Jeva Lange