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

Lindsey Graham to Back 'Nuclear Option' to Stop Dem Filibuster on Gorsuch

Image: Lindsey Graham to Back 'Nuclear Option' to Stop Dem Filibuster on Gorsuch
Sen. Lindsey Graham (AP Images)

By    |   Thursday, 23 Mar 2017 08:12 PM

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Thursday that he would support invoking the "nuclear option" if Senate Democrats filibuster the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

"If you filibuster Judge Gorsuch, you're telling President [Donald] Trump and every other Republican that we don't care that you won," the South Carolina GOP member told Kate Bolduan on CNN.

"He's the most qualified person President Trump could have chosen. Beyond reproach, in terms of his qualifications.

"It would be basically setting aside the election."

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said Thursday said that he would oppose Gorsuch and lead his party in a filibuster.

The announcement sets up a politically charged showdown with Republicans that could affect future judicial nominees.

"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."

Democrats remain incensed that Republicans blocked former Obama nominee Merrick Garland.

The seat created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia has been vacant for 13 months, with Republicans insisting that the next president make the nomination.

If Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky approves the nuclear option, only a majority of votes would need to confirm Gorsuch versus the current 60.

Graham told Bolduan that he supported both of former President Barack Obama's nominees: Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

"I'm telling my Democratic colleagues, if you do not allow an up-or-down vote on this guy, after what I've done in the past, then you don't care about the traditions of the Senate — and you don't care about President Trump being treated fairly.

"I didn't vote for him. I didn't vote for Obama. I haven't voted for a president who won in 12 years.

"But the one thing I will not do is allow President Trump to be denied what every other president's had the ability to do — and that is to nominate qualified people.

"I'm not going to play the game two different ways," Graham said. "I hope I never have to get there.

"But I want you to know that I am not going to play the game where they get everything they want and we never get anything."

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Sen. Lindsey Graham said Thursday that he would support invoking the "nuclear option" if Senate Democrats filibuster the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
lindsey graham, nuclear option, filibuster, neil gorsuch
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2017-12-23
Thursday, 23 Mar 2017 08:12 PM
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