Supreme Court filibusters have been almost unheard of in the Senate, but the confrontation is playing out amid an explosive political atmosphere with liberal Democrats furious over the Trump presidency and Republicans desperate to get a win after months of chaos from Trump. Republicans control the Senate 52-48. The nuclear option Republicans are using to confirm Neil GorsuchWoolpert says the option implemented by the senate could affect the makeup of the Supreme Court for decades to come. He essentially restores the ideological breakdown of the court before Scalia's death, as the justices have generally been split 4-4 for more than a year.
This was after Democrats initially blocked Gorsuch in a filibuster earlier in the day.
The nuclear option allows for a Senate majority to change the rules the Senate must follow. "It's the most extreme measure, with the most extreme consequences". "Unfortunately, it has brought us to this point", McConnell said leading up the rule change.
"Regardless of party, I think the 60-vote threshold is stupid".
The fight over Gorsuch's nomination ended a little more than two months after it began when Trump announced his choice at the end of January.
He emphasized that a successful partisan filibuster would be the first ever mounted against a Supreme Court nominee in the Senate's 230-year history. "This is the latest escalation in the never-ending judicial war", McConnell said. "I think it's dumb for anything whether it's Republican or Democrat", said Walker.
The chamber voted 54-45 on Friday to seal the confirmation of Denver appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch.
The No. 2-ranking Democrat, Sen.
Senators on both sides of the aisle lamented the trajectory they were on toward the Senate rules change, though they themselves were in position to prevent it from happening and failed to do so. Rather than voting on Gorsuch, he said, "We should be celebrating the one-year anniversary of Merrick Garland on the Supreme Court".
And, no, Republicans didn't help the cause of Senate comity by refusing even a hearing for Garland previous year.
This was the so-called "nuclear option". The Senate is expected to confirm the appellate court judge on Friday. The Republicans would say their decision to do away with the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees is a direct effect of the Democrats killing it for federal court nominees, to which the Democrats would point to the Republicans improperly blocking most of Obama's picks to those courts.
"The Constitution requires no more than that and the American people expect no less from the Senate", Leo said. Unquestionably, it works to the benefit of the majority party, but, this being a democracy, majorities don't last forever.