Las Vegas, NV – Today, Republican Senator Dean Heller voted with the GOP to blow up Senate precedent in order to approve President Trump’s Supreme Court pick, a move he strongly opposed in 2013.
For nearly a year, Senator Heller refused to meet with President Obama’s exceptionally qualified consensus nominee for the Supreme Court as part of an unprecedented and disrespectful partisan blockade. But with President Trump in the White House, Heller has quickly changed his tune. After snubbing Judge Merrick Garland, Senator Heller rushed to arrange a ‘cordial’ meeting with Trump’s pick, pro-corporate Judge Neil Gorsuch.
(Nearly two months later, Judge Gorsuch still hasn’t extended that same respect to Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, the nation’s first Latina Senator.)
Yesterday, Jon Ralston posted a reminder of Senator Heller’s previous stance against changing Senate precedent to a 50-vote threshold. In 2013, Heller said “this 60-vote threshold is what has protected and saved Nevada in the past” from threats like Yucca Mountain. But now that he just voted to invoke the nuclear option to ram through Judge Gorsuch, Heller’s office has (once again) declined to comment.
“President Trump and Republicans should have withdrawn their controversial nominee and found a consensus pick who could get 60 votes, not blown up Senate procedures for this lifetime appointment to the nation’s highest court,” said Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Stewart Boss. “Senator Heller had politicized this process enough with his refusal to even sit down and have a conversation with Merrick Garland. Instead of standing with his constituents in Nevada who want to get big money out of politics, protect women’s health care decisions and defend the rights of workers, Senator Heller decided to obey Mitch McConnell’s orders and continue voting 100 percent of the time for the Trump agenda.”