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Liberal Groups Mount Last Ditch Anti-Gorsuch Actions As Showdown Looms

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Kevin Daley Supreme Court correspondent
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Liberal advocacy groups and their activist allies will mount a last-ditch effort to stop Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, as the date of his confirmation vote nears.

A series of protest actions called “The People’s Filibuster” are planned for April 1 in 15 cities across the country to mobilize left-wing energy against Gorsuch’s nomination. The People’s Defense, an umbrella coalition of over a dozen liberal groups including NARAL Pro-Choice America, Emily’s List, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), is organizing the protests.

“The People’s Filibuster will take place in cities across the U.S. and feature everyday Americans speaking on why they object to the extreme agenda of the president and how the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court would advance that agenda for decades to come,” the group said on their Facebook page.

The coalition hopes a large turnout this weekend will bring pressure to bear on a handful of wavering Senate Democrats, who remain uncommitted to a filibuster effort being organized by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. These lawmakers include veteran institutionalists like Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Ben Cardin of Maryland, as well as red state incumbents standing for reelection in 2018 including Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin, Jon Tester, Joe Donnelly, Claire McCaskill, and Heidi Heitkamp.

“Any Democratic senator who doesn’t filibuster Gorsuch hurts not only their own standing, but makes the entire party look weak — dampening enthusiasm among the grass roots and swing voters Democrats need to fire up in 2018,” a PCCC spokesman said in a statement.

Conservative interest groups like the National Rifle Association and the Judicial Crisis Network have marshaled their own resources against the same group of Democrats, with multi-million dollar ad buys across several states.

Tester told Politico that Schumer is not actively whipping the vote, and that the caucus could survive several defections and still stage a successful filibuster.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sounded a vote of confidence for Gorsuch’s nomination Tuesday, telling reporters Gorsuch will confirmed through regular order, or by a rules-change procedure through which Republicans would abolish the 60-vote threshold needed to close debate on the nomination and move the matter to a final vote.

“We’re going to get Judge Gorsuch confirmed,” he said.

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