Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said that democrats would not be successful if they attempt to filibuster Judge Gorsuch, the pick by President Trump to fill the deceased Judge Scalia's seat on the Supreme Court. He made the comments to Jim Acosta on CNN moments after the announcement Tuesday.
Acosta asked Senator Cruz if he thought that Gorsuch would face the same obstruction that other picks of President Trump by the Democrats in Congress.
There is no doubt that the Democrats are engaged in unprecedented partisan obstruction. But I hope on the Supreme Court they will not engage in that practice. Y'know a decade ago when Judge Gorsuch was named to the Court of Appeals, he was approved by voice vote, which means not a single Democrat spoke out in opposition to him. And I would suggest the Democrats should apply that same standard, should ask, 'what's changed from a decade ago when they were willing to confirm then to the court of appeals. It is possible that Democrats will choose to obstruct. There are some Senate Democrats who I think might be counted on, to try to filibuster any Supreme Court nominee.
"What happens at that point?" Acosta followed up. "Nuclear option comes into play?" referring to the congressional maneuver where Republicans would be able to push through a confirmation vote with just a majority vote, as Democrats had with Obama's picks.
What I can tell you is that the Democrats will not succeed in filibustering Judge Gorsuch. They may try but they will not succeed. The Senate will confirm a strong constitutionalist to replace Justice Scalia.
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) February 1, 2017
Acosta then challenged Cruz to defend how Republicans held up Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland for a year, but are now demanding that Trump's nominee be confirmed.
It is a fundamentally different circumstance. For one thing, no vacancy that occurred in a presidential election year has been filled for eighty years. Eight decades. And indeed what Republicans said when that vacancy occurred before any nomination was made, is that we're gonna allow the American people to decide - we've got a presidential election coming. This election was in a very real sense a referendum - a referendum for the American people. Do you want a constitutionalists who will have a limited, a humble view of the judiciary, or do you want a liberal judicial activist who will impose his or her policy preferences?
And we the people spoke on election day in November, we the people spoke. And this issue, I believe, was a vital issue to President Trump defeating Hillary Clinton and now respecting the will of the people, it's incumbent on the Senate to advise and consent. And I believe we should confirm this very very strong Supreme Court nominee.
Cruz's "Freedom Caucus" compatriot Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) celebrated the conservative Supreme Court pick with a selfie tweeted on his social media account including famous "Never Trump" critic Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.):
My fellow members of the Judiciary Committee and I are ready to get to work to get Judge Gorsuch confirmed. https://t.co/MnHZWYouSA— Mike Lee (@Mike Lee) 1485911880.0
Democrats are angrily denouncing the actions by President Trump after Republicans stalled on voting for Obama's pick, Merrick Garland, tossing the confirmation vote into a tempest of political ire. Senate Democrats have already announced they will filibuster any pick by Trump for that very reason.