Tags: Donald Trump | Supreme Court | republicans | senate | filibuster | Neil Gorsuch

Senate Republicans May Have to Kill Filibuster to Confirm Gorsuch

Image: Senate Republicans May Have to Kill Filibuster to Confirm Gorsuch

Judge Neil Gorsuch (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

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Tuesday, 31 Jan 2017 09:43 PM Current | Bio | Archive

As praised as Judge Neil Gorsuch's remarks were Tuesday night after President Trump introduced him as his nominee to the Supreme Court, Senate Republicans may still have to end the filibuster Democrats threaten to use to stop his nomination.

A filibuster is the use of parliamentary tactics, notably speaking at length, to delay a vote on something indefinitely.

For its part, the White House is not so sure.

Hours before Trump introduced Gorsuch in a nationally televised news conference from the White House, Press Secretary Sean Spicer told Newsmax he felt the President's nominee to the court would get at least the nine Democratic senators to reach the 61 votes in the Senate needed to avoid a filibuster.

"I think we're going to get the nine senators, and I wouldn't be surprised if we get more," Spicer told us. "We've got an individual that I think is hopefully going to garner widespread, bipartisan support. I think this individual has the qualification, the experience, and the judicial philosophy that should win widespread support.

In the weeks before Gorsuch, 49, was officially nominated to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., hinted he and other Democrats would use the filibuster to delay a vote on his nomination and perhaps thwart the nominee to the court.

But one Republican senator, who requested anonymity, told us in November: "Democrats in the Senate used the 'nuclear option' [in November 2013] to end the filibuster against executive branch nominees and all court nominees except the Supreme Court."

"If they start using the filibuster against whomever Trump names [to the Supreme Court], we'll remove that. We're through playing games."

Under Senate rules, if the presiding officer of the Senate decides a rule of the Senate is a constitutional question, there is an immediate vote and a simple majority can change the rules.

As to whether the Trump administration would support a move to end the filibuster for the Supreme Court, top spokesman Spicer punted.

"I would suggest [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell has done a phenomenal job of moving things along in the Senate to the extent that Democrats will let him," he said. "I will leave any further questions on how the Senate will operate to him."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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As praised as Judge Neil Gorsuch's remarks were Tuesday night after President Trump introduced him as his nominee to the Supreme Court, Senate Republicans may still have to end the filibuster Democrats threaten to use to stop his nomination.
republicans, senate, filibuster, Neil Gorsuch
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2017-43-31
Tuesday, 31 Jan 2017 09:43 PM
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