Senate Republicans Deploy 'Nuclear Option' to Clear Path for Neil Gorsuch
- Senate Republicans changed longstanding rules on Thursday to clear the way for the confirmation of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court, bypassing a precedent-breaking Democratic filibuster by allowing the nomination to go forward on a simple majority vote.
In deploying the so-called nuclear option, lawmakers are fundamentally altering the way the Senate operates - a sign of the body's creeping rancor in recent years after decades of at least relative bipartisanship on Supreme Court matters. Both parties have likewise warned of sweeping effects on the future of the court, predicting that the shift will lead to the elevation of more ideologically extreme judges if only a majority is required for confirmation.
Lawmakers first convened late Thursday morning to decide whether to end debate and advance to a final vote on Judge Gorsuch. Republicans needed 60 votes - at least eight Democrats and independents joining the 52-seat majority - to end debate on the nomination and proceed to a final vote. Only a handful of Democrats defected, and the vote failed, 55-45, leaving Republicans to choose between allowing the president's nominee to fail or bulldozing long-held Senate practice.(Excerpt) Read more at: nytimes.com ...
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