US Senate expected to go nuclear over Supreme Court nomination


McConnell invoked the precedent of Senate Democrats' own change to same simple majority cloture rule for all presidential nominees but those to the Supreme Court in 2013 in calling for an override of the Senate chair's determination sixty votes were needed for cloture.

Republicans were set to immediately move to hold a vote on changing long-standing Senate rules in order to prohibit filibusters against Supreme Court nominees. All 52 Republicans believe Gorsuch is a worthy nominee and dismiss the Democratic opposition as a political reaction to McConnell's refusal to consider Judge Merrick Garland's nomination previous year and to the liberal base demanding resistance to anything President Trump proposes.

Democrats say the nuclear option as it applies to Supreme Court nominees risks increasing partisan divisions. It's a rules change that will allow them to confirm Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court.

With the bang of a gavel, the nuclear option - that dramatic term for doing away with the ability of a minority of senators to block confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee - has been exercised.

"We have to make sure that if there's any move to go beyond this, that we stop it in its tracks and that's going to require people in both parties to say we'll agree to disagree on the Supreme Court -- and it's a substantial disagreement -- but we can not allow this to affect legislation", he said.

"After 200 years, at least 100 years, of this tradition of where the Senate is functioning pretty well, they think it'd be a good idea to blow it up: idiot", Sen.

Democrats, too, are disappointed with the situation in which they find themselves. Sen. Now, McConnell is eliminating it for the Supreme Court.

"We believe that what Republicans did to Merrick Garland was worse than a filibuster", said Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. "It's to change the nominee", Schumer said.

A final vote on Gorsuch's confirmation is expected for Friday evening. "What we face today is the fallout", Democratic Senator Richard Durbin added on the Senate floor. Among them, he said, are Gorsuch's votes for corporate interests over average Americans, his ties to President Trump and his "deeply-held, far-right, special-interest judicial philosophy that is far outside the mainstream".

The Senate on Thursday voted 55-45 to successfully filibuster Gorsuch's nomination.

"This will be the first and last partisan filibuster of the Supreme Court", Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor, accusing Democrats of trying to inflict political damage on Trump and to keep more conservatives from joining the high court.

"The consequences for the Senate and for the future of the Supreme Court will be far-reaching", Schumer said. That will come after Democrats, as expected, formally block Gorsuch's nomination on Thursday. Under current Senate rules - and that's key - you need 60 votes to do that. The majority leader is likely to get those votes, since the Republicans have a 52-48 edge and are eager to see Mr Gorsuch, a staunchly conservative, well-qualified appellate judge, in the late Antonin Scalia's seat. Inviting Mr McConnell to go nuclear now means no chance of blocking his next candidate, and perhaps encouraging Mr Trump to go for an ideological firebrand lacking Mr Gorsuch's Ivy League résumé. Democrats point to the Republican Party's unprecedented decision previous year to refuse to consider Barack Obama's court nominee, Merrick Garland.

President Donald Trump had previously voiced his support for the nuclear option if eight or more Democrats didn't vote Republicans in voting in favor.



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