Tags: Supreme Court | lindsey graham | neil gorsuch | supreme court | filibuster | nuclear option

Lindsey Graham: Must Use Nuclear Option If Dems Stage Filibuster Against Gorsuch

(Fox News)

By    |   Friday, 24 Mar 2017 02:07 PM

Senate Republicans will have no choice other than to use the nuclear option to confirm Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch if Democrats follow through with threats to block him through a filibuster, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Friday.

"We'll have no other option but to change the rules, because if we don't, that means President [Donald] Trump can never make a selection to the Supreme Court, and I will not allow that to happen," the South Carolina Republican told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" program, while referring to Gorsuch as "mainstream a judge as you'll ever find on the conservative side."

Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, said he strongly opposes Gorsuch, accusing him of being a judge who "almost instinctively favors the powerful over the weak."

"I have concluded that I cannot support Neil Gorsuch's nomination," Schumer said on the Senate floor. "My vote will be no and I urge my colleagues to do the same."

If the filibuster happens, it could block Gorsuch from getting the 60 Senate votes he needs for confirmation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as the presiding officer, would be forced to decide whether to use the nuclear option, a series of procedures that would overrule the requirement for a supermajority vote and allow Gorsuch's nomination to pass with just 51 votes.

Gorsuch needs at least eight Democratic votes to reach the 60-vote threshold, which could be in jeopardy if Schumer follows through with his filibuster threat.

"What Sen. Schumer is doing is changing 200 years of precedent in the Senate because he cannot stand the pressure from the left," Graham said Friday, calling the New Yorker a "destructive force" in the Senate. "That is sad and I hope some members of the conference will not allow this happen."

Graham said he considers Gorsuch as qualified as former President Barack Obama's nominees, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. He said he voted for both of them even though they were liberals because he thought they were both qualified for the seats.

"I'm telling my Democratic friends I took a beating for doing what I thought was best for the body and for the judiciary," Graham said. "I didn't vote for President Trump, but he won and he's picked a home-run nominee in Neil Gorsuch."

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Senate Republicans will have no choice other than to use the nuclear option to confirm Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch if Democrats follow through with threats to block him through a filibuster, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Friday.
lindsey graham, neil gorsuch, supreme court, filibuster, nuclear option
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2017-07-24
Friday, 24 Mar 2017 02:07 PM
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