Republicans eye 'nuclear option' in Senate to confirm judge

Many Republicans bemoaned the rule change but blamed Democrats for pushing them to it.

"We Democrats believe the answer isn't to change the rules, it's to change the nominee, as presidents of both parties have done when a nominee fails to earn confirmation", Schumer said on the Senate floor.

Ending the filibuster would make it easier for future Supreme Court nominees to be confirmed when the president and Senate leadership belong to the same party.

Gorsuch had won a few positive endorsements from both sides of the aisle, but opponents voiced concerns about his past conservative rulings and reluctance to answer questions during his confirmation hearings. To do it, Republicans blew up the ability for the minority part to filibuster, or indefinitely block Supreme Court nominees. The rules change is known as the "nuclear option" because of its far-reaching implications. McConnell vowed that the rules change would block the Gorsuch filibuster, and all future ones, a change many lawmakers lamented could lead to an even more polarized Senate, court and country.

Moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins of ME said roughly 10 senators of both parties worked over the weekend to come up with a deal to stave off the so-called "nuclear option", as the rules change is known, but couldn't come to agreement.

"We will sadly point to today as a turning point in the history of the Senate and the Supreme Court", said Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY.

Democrats still angry over the Senate GOP's refusal to give former President Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland, a hearing or vote a year ago vowed to resist Gorsuch's nomination. "Historically, it used to be the case that to stop a filibuster, you needed 60 votes". Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer of New York, walks to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 6, 2017, as Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to change Senate rules to guarantee confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

Republican Ron Johnson fired back: "Unfortunately, most Democratic senators, including Senator Baldwin, attempted to obstruct the will of voters" who put President Donald Trump in office. Dick Durbin of IL, ridiculed Republicans for suggesting Democrats brought the Senate to this final action.

Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch shakes hands with Sen.

"The Constitution requires no more than that and the American people expect no less from the Senate", Leo said. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., accompanied by Sen. Just one vote with 51 senators voting in the affirmative will be required to confirm Gorsuch.

"When it became clear that President Trump's Supreme Court nominee could not meet the 60-vote threshold and should be replaced with a more consensus choice, Leader McConnell opted for a naked partisan power play by changing the rules in the middle of the game", said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

  • Leroy Wright