A look at memorable filibusters in the Senate

Democrats say they plan to filibuster to

Merkley mostly stuck to the topic at hand, with the help of a few charts. He spoke about Gorsuch’s record and the history of the highest court in the country. He talked often about the importance, in his opinion, of Supreme Court nominees having bipartisan support.

Right now, Democrats have enough votes to deny Gorsuch’s confirmation a vote. But the Senate majority is poised to make a historic change to its rules by the end of the week. The Republican leadership is threatening to use the "nuclear" option and do away with the filibuster for nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court.

More than 200 years ago, when the Senate first established its governing rules, individual senators were given a tool -– the filibuster -- as a way for senators to delay a vote on the floor. Any senator could, in theory, talk as long as they were able unless a super majority of 60 senators voted to end debate.

It's unclear whether Democrats will have to option to filibuster this time. But historically, there have been several long and memorable filibusters. Here's a look back at some of the most famous in U.S. history and what senators read when they held the floor for hours on end.

He reportedly read and analyzed each section of the Constitution while he talked and claimed the president’s New Deal programs had made the founding document "ancient and forgotten lore."

Other senators have read parts of the phone book and even sang songs.

“Has America the beautiful become Alice in Wonderland?” he said.

“'No, no.' said the Queen, 'Sentence first, verdict afterwards,'" he continued, comparing the tale to drone attacks that can target potential terrorists without giving them a trial first.