WASHINGTON – In case you missed it, U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today joined NPR to discuss his Committee vote against Supreme Court nominee Judge Gorsuch and what this nomination means for the Senate and for future nominees.

“I can't speak for the whole Democratic caucus, but I can speak for myself,” said Senator Coons. “Over the last few days, I've met with or spoken to more than a dozen of my colleagues, Republicans and Democrats, trying to craft some sort of agreement that would allow us to get past this moment and have confidence that the rules would not be broken on the next Supreme Court nominee and that there wouldn't be a filibuster of the next nominee and we just could not get there.”

“I know many on the left think this filibuster is a great thing and are celebrating the opposition to Judge Gorsuch, but the reality is looking forward, I think we are going to be looking at a Senate where the ability to work across the aisle, the ability to reach any agreement, and the ability to slow down any future highly partisan Supreme Court nominee will be less and less,”said Senator Coons.

Listen to the full interview here.

Excerpts from the interview:

When the Judiciary Committee met on Monday, I was careful to say I would join the filibuster unless we could find some way, Republicans and Democrats, to come together and to reach a binding agreement that gives us confidence that the next nominee to the Supreme Court will be more of consensus pick. Where there will be more consensus and more consultation between the president and Democrats and Republicans. That is the long tradition of the Senate. The reason that previous justices haven't been filibustered is that there was more consultation, there was more consensus, and there was frankly more trust between the parties. You just played a quote from Sen. Grassley this morning where he suggested that there is a 200-year history of no partisan filibusters against Supreme Court nominees. I don't know what happened over seven months to prevent Merrick Garland from getting a hearing or getting a vote, but that was nothing if not a partisan filibuster. I know many on the left think this filibuster is a great thing and are celebrating the opposition to Judge Gorsuch, but the reality is looking forward, I think we are going to be looking at a Senate where the ability to work across the aisle, the ability to reach any agreement, and the ability to slow down any future highly partisan Supreme Court nominee will be less and less.”

“Well, the key issue that you're highlighting is that if we can't trust each other now, if we simply confirm Judge Gorsuch and trust that they won't break the filibuster on the next nominee…we're in a place where that trust has been badly frayed by the mistreatment of Merrick Garland. We are in a place where both the far right and the left are very engaged, very mobilized. I received thousands of phone calls opposing Judge Gorsuch. I know that Republican colleagues received thousands of phone calls in their offices urging that they take extraordinary measures to make sure they force him onto the Court. That is one of the contributions to this division in the Senate today, is that over the last 30-40 years, there has been a steady politicization of choices to the Supreme Court. So, this is not new.”

I can't speak for the whole Democratic caucus, but I can speak for myself. Over the last few days, I've met with or spoken to more than a dozen of my colleagues, Republicans and Democrats, trying to craft some sort of agreement that would allow us to get past this moment and have confidence that the rules would not be broken on the next Supreme Court nominee and that there wouldn't be a filibuster of the next nominee and we just could not get there.”