McCaskill made a distinction between using the filibuster to block Gorsuch, who would replace Scalia, arguably the court’s most conservative justice during his tenure, and using it to block a nominee if one of the court’s more liberal or centrist justices dies or retires.
“So they move it to 51 votes and they confirm either Gorsuch or they confirm the one after Gorsuch,” she continued. “They go on the Supreme Court and then, God forbid, Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies, or (Anthony) Kennedy retires or (Stephen) Breyer has a stroke or is no longer able to serve. Then we’re not talking about Scalia for Scalia, which is what Gorsuch is, we’re talking about Scalia for somebody on the court who shares our values. And then all of a sudden the things I fought for with scars on my back to show for it in this state are in jeopardy.”
McCaskill acknowledged that many members of the party’s base want Democrats to fight any Trump nominee after Republicans refused to even hold a hearing for President Barack Obama’s nominee, federal Judge Merrick Garland.
I made this argument here.