Showdown of 'Nuclear' Proportions Over Gorsuch's Confirmation

The government has in many ways ceased to function, because of a cycle of partisan rancor and retaliation culminating in the ascent of Donald Trump. Republicans refused to hold hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland.

"Make no mistake: this is a stolen seat - & if this theft is completed, it will undermine the integrity of the court for decades", Merkley tweeted as he began.

On the floor, he called for Republicans to delay the vote as the FBI investigates ties between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.

Still, McConnell's relative nonchalance about changing the rules contrasts with the comments of some of his Republican colleagues, who have said they have grave concerns. Sen. The executive calendar is not what made the Senate the Senate. The Maine senator said he initially found Neil Gorsuch to be "sincere, personable and thoughtful" but over time found the nominee's answers to be "at best, increasingly evasive, and, at worst, simply not forthright".

The leader said that the 60-vote cloture rule on nominees like Gorsuch was not as important a feature as the 60-vote threshold for bills.

King is up for re-election next year.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to recommend Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch's confirmation as a filibuster looms. Some senators have predicted that it will later be applied to legislation.

For the Senate, it would mean that Supreme Court nominees in future could get on the court with no assent from the minority party, potentially leading to a more ideologically polarized court.

The real fight is expected later this week when Republicans try to advance the nominee toward a final up-or-down vote.

The crack in the ice - so to speak - began when Senate Democrats in 2013, frustrated by Republican opposition, did away with the filibuster for lower court nominees and Cabinet nominees. "We think the nuclear option is filibustering the Supreme Court nominee", he said.

"There's not a single senator in the majority who thinks we ought to change the legislative filibuster, not one", McConnell said. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) lamented that when it comes to majority rule, the risk of an up-or-down votes is preferred than total obstruction "no matter who is in power". Now Democrats, justifiably furious that Republicans essentially stole a Supreme Court seat by refusing for almost a year to consider President Barack Obama's nominee, are threatening to block President Trump's nominee.

Democrats should allow Gorsuch's nomination to go to the Senate floor and, regardless of the consequences back in their respective states, if they find no reason to question Gorsuch's qualifications to serve as an associate justice of the Supreme Court, confirm him to the high court. He said the change would apply only to Supreme Court nominations.

  • Zachary Reyes