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

Nuclear Option on Gorsuch More Likely as Dem Opposition Grows

Image: Nuclear Option on Gorsuch More Likely as Dem Opposition Grows
Supreme Court-nominee Neil Gorsuch (AP Photo)

By    |   Monday, 27 Mar 2017 11:43 AM

The possibility of Republicans using the so-called "nuclear option" to ensure Supreme Court-nominee Neil Gorsuch gets confirmed appears to be increasing as a growing number of Democrats have announced they will oppose the judge, the Washington Examiner reported Monday.

So far, no Democrats have said they will back the nominee, and current Senate rules state the only way a filibuster can be overcome is to garner 60 votes against it; however, the GOP majority in the Senate is only 52, so Republicans have threatened to alter the rules to prevent a filibuster and thus make confirmation possible with only a simple majority.

The decision by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., to oppose Gorsuch, vowing to filibuster, is expected to increase the chances the Democrats will indeed filibuster.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., warned Gorsuch will be confirmed no matter how the Democrats vote, implying he would change the rules if necessary, CNN reported.

"If Judge Gorsuch can't get achieve 60 votes in the Senate, could any judge appointed by a Republican president be approved with 60 or more votes in the Senate?" McConnell asked. "If they don't find Gorsuch acceptable, are they taking the position that the vacancy should never be filled?"

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who voted for former President Barack Obama's nominees Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, explained to CNN why Democrats would be wrong to oppose Gorsuch for purely partisan reasons.

"I didn't vote for [President Donald Trump]," Graham said. "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."

Democrats stated two main reasons for opposing Gorsuch: One, he was elusive in his answers during his confirmation hearings, and it was unclear if he would be an adequate check on the executive branch; the second reason was payback for the Republican refusal to even hold a confirmation hearing for Obama's nominee Merrick Garland after Justice Antonin Scalia died last March.

The Boston Globe editorial stated Democrats would be justified in voting against Gorsuch's confirmation, but came out against a filibuster.

"A pointless filibuster, however pleasing to partisans, would only continue the politicization of the courts," the editorial stated.

"Republicans grievously undermined the Supreme Court through their behavior last year, but Democrats should seek payback at the ballot box, not with a filibuster."

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The possibility of Republicans using the so-called "nuclear option" to ensure Supreme Court-nominee Neil Gorsuch gets confirmed appears to be increasing as a growing number of Democrats have announced they will oppose the judge, the Washington Examiner reported.
Senate, nuclear option, Neil Gorsuch, SCOTUS
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2017-43-27
Monday, 27 Mar 2017 11:43 AM
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