King is 44th senator to oppose Gorsuch

The action is expected to play out on Thursday morning, when as many as 43 Democrats will vote against ending debate on Gorsuch.

Portman said he'll vote for the so-called the nuclear option, which will lower the threshold to break a filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee from 60 to 51. Asked if he has the votes to do that, given misgivings voiced by many Republicans, McConnell answered simply "yes". Those Democrats would again vote no.

Right now, Congress requires 60 votes to proceed to vote on a nominee.

Sixty senators would need to support the motion in order to limit the debate to 30 more hours.

All but four Democrats have pledged to vote against Gorsuch, The Washington Post reports. According to the New York Times, Democrats have enough votes to impose a filibuster, a procedural tactic used to delay and derail voting on a policy nomination. "That is the ruling of the chair", Leahy said.

With a simple majority vote the new standard, Democrats will then be powerless to stop Trump's next potential nominee.

Now, McConnell will be the one calling the same shots.

"I hold no illusions that I will agree with every decision Judge Gorsuch may issue in the future, but have not found any reasons why this jurist should not be a Supreme Court justice", he said.

Senators have long prided themselves for belonging to what is often called the world's greatest deliberative body. Some senators have predicted that it will later be applied to legislation.

"There's not a single senator in the majority who thinks we ought to change the legislative filibuster - Not one". "We all understand that's what makes the Senate the Senate". Democrats reiterated their pledge to block a vote on President Donald Trump's nominee to replace former Justice Antonin Scalia, justifying their stance by pointing to the Senate GOP's refusal in holding hearings for Merrick Garland, Obama's nominee to fill the seat in 2016.

"I think it's a dark day in the history of the United States Senate". "They seem determined to head into the abyss and taking the country with them".

Democrats tried mightily to keep the focus on Republicans' plans to change Senate rules, rather than on their own plans to obstruct a nominee who would likely have gotten onto the court easily with no filibuster in earlier and less contentious political times.

"They all face reelection in 2018 in states that are all a little more conservative than a normal democratic state", Wolf said.

But McConnell and Republicans say the Democrats' obstruction leaves them with no choice. "Let's have a vote on him up or down".

"I started this process with an open mind and an inclination to support a nominee with this judge's educational and judicial experience. But I certainly don't want to". Even so, Democrats are hypocritical to do what they have rightly criticized Republicans for doing.

The Senate is on course to give everyone something to rue.

  • Larry Hoffman