“This is the latest escalation in the left’s never-ending judicial war, the most audacious yet,” Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, said after describing Democratic opposition in the past to Judge Robert H. Bork and Justice Clarence Thomas. “And it cannot and it will not stand. There cannot be two sets of standards: one for the nominees of the Democratic president and another for the nominee of a Republican president.”
But Democrats had shown no signs of forsaking their filibuster plans all week calling for Judge Gorsuch to be replaced by a compromise nominee if he could not earn 60 votes. Their stance has pleased their most progressive voters, who have preached resistance to President Trump at every opportunity, and supplied the minority party with perhaps its loudest megaphone so far under the new president.
Many Democrats remain furious over the treatment of Judge Merrick B. Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee for the seat left vacant with the February 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Republicans refused to even consider Judge Garland during the presidential election year, a fact Mr. McConnell has not dwelled on during public statements about the history of Republican behavior under Democratic presidents.