Tags: Supreme Court | Senate | nuclear | SCOTUS | Neil Gorsuch

Senate Starts Clock on Nuclear End to Gorsuch Filibuster

Image: Senate Starts Clock on Nuclear End to Gorsuch Filibuster
Supreme Court Justice-nominee Neil Gorsuch (AP Photo/Rex Features)

Tuesday, 04 Apr 2017 07:44 PM

A countdown is under way to use the "nuclear option" that will get Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch confirmed by Friday night, CNN reported.

According to CNN, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., set the clock in motion Tuesday when he moved to end debate on Gorsuch's nomination; a vote on McConnell's "cloture" motion will take place Thursday.

Here's the steps that are then likely to take place, according to CNN:

  • Democrats could block ending debate – what is known as a filibuster – by coming up with 41 votes against it.
  • McConnell would then turn to the nuclear option by essentially pronouncing from the Senate floor, that from here on, filibusters of Supreme Court nominees can be stopped with 51 votes, not 60, as has been the case for decades.
  • The declaration would be enforced by a roll call vote; 51 votes would be needed to create the new Senate precedent. CNN noted Vice President Mike Pence could serve as a tiebreaker if not all 52 Republicans back the nuclear option.
  • When a new threshold is in place, there will be a revote to end debate, or break the filibuster, which will be able to be done with 51 votes.
  • Senate rules then allow for up to 30 hours of "post-cloture" debate time, setting up a final confirmation vote sometime Friday night.

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A countdown is under way to use the "nuclear option" that will get Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch confirmed by Friday night, CNN reported.
Senate, nuclear, SCOTUS, Neil Gorsuch
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2017-44-04
Tuesday, 04 Apr 2017 07:44 PM
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