Republican senators don’t have enough votes for the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch as justice at the U.S. Supreme Court, but they have a “nuclear option.”
Republicans Prepare to Nuke Filibuster
On the Senate floor, the GOP needs 60 votes to end the filibuster around Gorsuch’s nomination, and they have now reached a dead-end known as a cloture. Republicans accuse Democrats of opposing the appointment of a qualified judge, while Democrats say Gorsuch is too extreme for a SCOTUS role.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he is ready to activate a “nuclear option” to bypass opposition. Democrats claim the option will allow Republicans to change a historical precedent that requires 60 votes for a Supreme Court nomination. Instead, they will nominate Gorsuch by a simple majority, i.e. 51 votes.
One way or the other, we will confirm Judge Gorsuch,
McConnell said Tuesday.
On the other hand, the “nuclear option” involves a complicated procedure. However, McConnell did request cloture, and the Senate approved it.
After the old rules are shot down, Senators hold a second cloture vote which needs only a simple majority. The vote is followed by a 30-hour debate after which the Senate gathers once more to vote on the confirmation. If McConnell’s plan succeeds, Gorsuch should be confirmed by Friday afternoon or evening.
However, McConnell is not the first one to “nuke” the old rules. In 2013, the former majority leader Harry Reid did a similar thing when Republicans were obstructing President Obama’s cabinet nominees in a similar way Democrats are doing today. At the time, the margin for the Supreme Court appointees was not changed.
Experts think that in the absence of the procedure, the American politics can only continue the down spiraling trend of polarization it is now engaged in. However, all the Democrats have to do is be reasonable and they would not need to worry about the filibuster. Democrats are responsible for the polarization of America and our President is doing the best he can.
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