Tags: John McCain | Supreme Court | nuclear | Senate | confirmation | Neil Gorsuch

GOP: Neil Gorsuch Will Be Confirmed After 'Nuclear' Move

Image: GOP: Neil Gorsuch Will Be Confirmed After 'Nuclear' Move
Supreme Court Justice-nominee Neil Gorsuch (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

By    |   Thursday, 06 Apr 2017 04:05 PM

Republican senators expressed confidence Thursday that Neil Gorsuch would be confirmed to the Supreme Court on Friday after invoking the "nuclear option" that would allow the appellate court judge to be approved by a simple majority vote.

"President [Donald] Trump has, by all accounts, selected a judge with impeccable qualifications and the highest integrity," Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas said. "Not one of our Democratic colleagues has been able to offer a convincing argument against him — and that's why several of our Democratic colleagues have crossed the aisle to support his nomination."

Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe said "the decision by Democrats to block his nomination is proof that they will block any Supreme Court nominee by President Trump, regardless of who it is and how qualified they may be.

"While I am disappointed in the Democrats' decision, I am pleased to be one step closer to confirming perhaps the most qualified man for this job in the country to the Supreme Court," he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky moved for the nuclear option after a vote to confirm Gorsuch failed 55-45.

All but four Democrats opposed Gorsuch, with the final vote falling short of the 60 needed for confirmation.

"We will not allow their latest unprecedented act on judicial nominations to take hold," McConnell said on the Senate floor. "This will be the first and last partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nomination."

In response, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York called the nuclear move "a cautionary tale about how unbridled partisan escalation can ultimately overwhelm our basic inclination to work together.

"There's a reason it was dubbed the nuclear option: It's the most extreme measure, with the most extreme consequences," he said.

Before the nuclear option, the Senate required a 60-vote majority to confirm Supreme Court nominees. While Republicans control the chamber, 52-46, they would have still needed at least eight Democrats to confirm Gorsuch.

Four Democrats broke ranks in the earlier vote: Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Michael Bennet of Colorado.

Arizona Sen. John McCain was among the Republicans backing the nuclear option Thursday, a day after slamming those endorsing the move as "stupid idiots."

McCain's Grand Canyon State colleague, Sen. Jeff Flake, said "changing Senate rules was not my preferred outcome.

"Judge Gorsuch is an accomplished, mainstream jurist who would have justifiably received near unanimous support just a few years ago," said Flake, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that endorsed the nominee Monday. "Never before has such a highly qualified nominee put forward by a recently elected president to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat been successfully filibustered."

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said "I'm disappointed that my friends across the aisle chose to move forward with this unprecedented partisan filibuster.

"Judge Gorsuch is exceptionally well-qualified — and I look forward to supporting his confirmation."

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Republican senators expressed confidence Thursday that Neil Gorsuch would be confirmed to the Supreme Court on Friday after invoking the "nuclear option" that would allow the appellate court judge to be approved by a simple majority vote.
nuclear, Senate, confirmation, Neil Gorsuch
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2017-05-06
Thursday, 06 Apr 2017 04:05 PM
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