- The Washington Times - Monday, January 30, 2017

White House press secretary Sean Spicer warned Senate Democrats planning to filibuster President Trump’s upcoming nomination to the Supreme Court that they should instead heed the message that American voters sent in November.

He said that Senate Democrats’ moves to stall most of Mr. Trump’s Cabinet nominees and vows to block his pick for the Supreme Court, which will not be announced until Tuesday, was the politics-as-usual that voters rejected in the election.

“The message came through loud and clear that the American people wanted decisive leadership. They’re getting it,” Mr. Spicer said at the daily White House press briefing. “I think if you’re a Senate Democrat, you’ve got to wonder or not whether or not you’re getting outside of Washington enough.”

“It’s not just the president’s message, I think the American people’s message. They want change,” he said.

He noted that Mr. Trump had met with Senate Democratic leaders to discuss the qualities they were looking for in the next Supreme Court justice.

“That just shows you that it’s all about politics, it’s not about qualification,” said Mr. Spicer. “The president has a right to have his nominees taken up.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley, Oregon Democrat, vowed to filibuster Mr. Trump’s pick as payback for Senate Republicans refusing to act last year on President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland.

Mr. Spicer also said that there were no ulterior motives in Mr. Trump’s decision to move up the scheduled announcement from Thursday to Tuesday.

“He’s 100 percent sure he’s the pick,” Mr. Spicer said.

The scheduling change had prompted speculation that Mr. Trump was attempting to change the subject in Washington after the chaotic rollout of his “extreme vetting” program that halted visitors from seven Middle East and North African countries identified as hotbeds for terrorist.

“He moved it up. He was ready to go,” Mr. Spicer said.

Mr. Trump, who campaign on a promise to select a Supreme Court nominee from a list of 21 conservative jurists, is believed to have narrowed the list to three: Judge William Pryor in Alabama, Judge Neil Gorsuch in Colorado and Judge Thomas Hardiman in Pennsylvania.

The nominee would fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the strongest conservative voices on the high court.



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