Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

A sign at a protest on the Supreme Court steps against right-wing Judge Neil Gorsuch.

A sign at a protest on the Supreme Court steps against right-wing Judge Neil Gorsuch. (Photo: Getty)

Growing a Spine? Schumer Sets Stage for Gorsuch Filibuster

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced opposition to right-wing Supreme Court nominee, setting stage for filibuster showdown

Nika Knight Beauchamp

After weeks of outcry and public calls for Senate Democrats to "grow a spine" and filibuster President Donald Trump's right-wing Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, Democrats finally appear to be listening.

On Thursday, after three days of Senate Judiciary Committee testimony, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that he could not support Gorsuch's nomination and indicated that he would join a filibuster against the nominee.

"He will have to earn 60 votes for confirmation," Schumer said. "My vote will be no."

"His career and judicial record suggest not a neutral legal mind but someone with a deep-seated conservative ideology," Schumer said:

Democrats have complained throughout Gorsuch's testimony that the conservative judge has been eliding questions and refusing to explain his judicial philosophy in concrete terms.

When pressed to explain his stance on Roe v. Wade on Wednesday, for example, Gorsuch avoided the line of questioning and simply stated that "a good judge[...] doesn't try to reinvent the wheel."

"For the life of me, I really don't know" what Gorsuch's stance is on the pivotal issue, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said.

Fearing Gorsuch's right-wing credentials and angered by the GOP's stonewalling of former President Barack Obama's Supreme Court pick, progressives have publicly called for a filibuster of his Supreme Court nomination since Trump announced it in January. Over forty labor, environmental, women's, and LGBTQ groups wrote a letter to Senate Democrats urging such a resistance earlier this month, as Common Dreams reported:

"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," they said in a letter sent to the 48-member minority. "We need you to do better."

"Caving to Trump's interests without a fight would take a wind out of the sails of the nascent resistance movement rocking our country," argued the Guardian's Lucia Graves last month.

It appears that Democrats are finally heeding that call. Schumer's Thursday announcement followed a similar statement from Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), who is "a potential swing vote who faces a tough reelection next year," Politico observes

"I have serious concerns about Judge Gorsuch's rigid and restrictive judicial philosophy," Casey said, and added that the judge "employs the narrowest possible reading of federal law and exercises extreme skepticism, even hostility, toward executive branch agencies."

Progressive groups also continue to urge Democrats to consider the potential dire ramifications of Gorsuch's lifelong appointment.

"The impact of the Supreme Court on abortion access goes far beyond Roe v. Wade. If Judge Gorsuch is confirmed, there could be grave consequences for women's lives and health for decades to come," said Vicki Saporta, president and CEO of the National Abortion Federation, in a statement Thursday.

As Democrats finally turn against Gorsuch, they're setting the stage for a high-stakes political showdown. As NPR explains: "Republicans control 52 Senate seats, and would need eight Democrats to join them to move Gorsuch's nomination forward under current Senate rules. Short of that, Republican Senate leaders may trigger the so-called 'nuclear option,' changing the rules to allow a simple majority to proceed."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

'Witness Intimidation. Clear as Day': Jan. 6 Panel Teases Evidence of Cover-Up Effort

"Add witness tampering to the laundry list of crimes Trump and his allies must be charged with," said professor Robert Reich.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Bombshell After Bombshell' Dropped as Jan. 6 Testimony Homes In On Trump Guilt

"Hutchinson's testimony of the deeply detailed plans of January 6 and the inaction of those in the White House in response to the violence show just how close we came to a coup," said one pro-democracy organizer.

Brett Wilkins ·


Mark Meadows 'Did Seek That Pardon, Yes Ma'am,' Hutchinson Testifies

The former aide confirmed that attorney Rudy Giuliani also sought a presidential pardon related to the January 6 attack.

Jessica Corbett ·


UN Chief Warns of 'Ocean Emergency' as Leaders Confront Biodiversity Loss, Pollution

"We must turn the tide," said Secretary-General António Guterres. "A healthy and productive ocean is vital to our shared future."

Julia Conley ·


'I Don't F—ing Care That They Have Weapons': Trump Wanted Security to Let Armed Supporters March on Capitol

"They're not here to hurt me," Trump said on the day of the January 6 insurrection, testified a former aide to ex-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo