Fresh drama surrounding the upcoming vote on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch erupted Sunday as Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent, revealed he has not yet decided how he'll vote, but added a threatened filibuster by Democrat lawmakers would not be "out of line."
"Last year, Merrick Garland was subjected to what I would call the granddaddy of all filibusters: not even allowed to have a hearing, much less a vote, went on for something like 11 months," King told CBS News' "Face the Nation."
"The idea of a 60-vote requirement for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court doesn't strike me as out of line with Senate tradition."
King said a lifetime appointment to the nation's high court should have "some level" of bipartisan approval.
"What I'm suggesting is I think the 60-vote margin requires some level of bipartisanship," he said.
"And whether it's on legislation or on a major appointment like this, that isn't bad for the country that you have to have people and ideas that have some level of buy-in from both parties."
Senators on both sides worry the dispute over the Democrats' attempt to block Gorsuch could not only cause the GOP to make an opportunistic change to the rules in the upper chamber, but also lead to irrevocable damage to the Senate by eventually eliminating the filibuster for controversial legislation, The Hill reports.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has vowed Gorsuch will be confirmed even if he can't garner the 60 votes needed to prevent a filibuster by altering Senate rules so that a simple majority is enough, commonly called "the nuclear option."
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