Two top-level Congressional Republicans have revealed their plans to invoke the ‘nuclear option’ to counter Democrats who have vowed to filibuster Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.
With a 60-vote threshold necessary to confirm Gorsuch, a Democrat filibuster would temporarily halt his appointment due to Republicans controlling only 52 seats in the Senate.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced his plan to lead an effort to force the 60-vote requirement on Twitter:
Judge Gorsuch’s nomination will face a cloture vote & as I’ve said, he will have to earn sixty votes for confirmation. My vote will be “No.”
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) March 23, 2017
The threat of a filibuster has led to grumblings that Republicans might invoke the ‘nuclear option,’ a move that would abolish the 60-vote requirement for Supreme Court nominees, something the Democrats themselves instituted for other judicial nominees under the leadership of Harry Reid in 2013.
Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain have revealed they will do exactly that.
On CNN Tonight, Graham pointed out that if a man of Judge Gorsuch’ caliber can’t get 60 votes, then no Supreme Court nominee picked by a GOP President will ever be able to, forcing the Senate to go nuclear.
McCain followed up in an interview affirming that Republicans were “going to confirm Gorsuch.”
Via the Weekly Standard:
Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer announced Thursday morning that he will try to lead fellow Senate Democrats to block an up-or-down vote on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. The Democratic leader demanded a new nominee (who takes a liberal approach to constitutional law).
In a closely divided Senate (Republicans hold a 52-48 majority), it would only take three Republicans to let Schumer have his way, but comments from several Senate Republicans suggest they’re not going to give in to Democratic demands.
Arizona senator John McCain hinted Thursday afternoon that he’s ready to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch with a simple majority if Senate Democrats take the unprecedented step of filibustering a Supreme Court nominee. Asked what Republicans should do if 41 or more Democrats try to block Gorsuch, McCain told THE WEEKLY STANDARD: “I think we’ll address it when it happens. None of us want to do it, but we’re going to confirm Gorsuch.”
Earlier Thursday, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina also signaled that he’s willing to confirm Neil Gorsuch with a simple majority. “Whatever it takes to get him on the court, I will do,” Graham said when asked on the Mike Gallagher radio show about eliminating the 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees, a rules change sometimes known as the “nuclear option.”
Neither Graham nor McCain are considered staunch supporters of President Trump, but they seem to be following his suggestion on the nomination of Gorsuch.
“If we end up with that gridlock I would say if you can, Mitch, go nuclear,” Trump said referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “That would be an absolute shame if a man of this quality was caught up in the web. It’s up to Mitch, but I would say go for it.”
Opposing a man of Gorsuch’ judicial integrity has exposed the Democrats as the partisan liberal purists they are. They have offered no serious opposition to his nomination and simply want to deny the President a legacy move on the Supreme Court.
You know it’s a bad move when even Graham and McCain are siding with the President on this matter.
Do you think the Senate should invoke the “nuclear option” if Democrats try and filibuster Judge Gorsuch’s nomination? Share your thoughts below!