Senate Democrats may enact the nuclear option for Supreme Court nominees next year if the party wins both the presidency and control of the Senate.
Sen. Harry Reid, the chamber's minority leader who will soon be retired, told Talking Points Memo he has "set the Senate" to fight back against any Republican protests regarding a Supreme Court nominee.
"I really do believe that I have set the Senate, so when I leave, we're going to be able to get judges done with a majority," Reid said.
Under current rules, Supreme Court nominees must be approved by a 60 percent Senate vote.
"It's clear to me that if the Republicans try to filibuster another circuit court judge, but especially a Supreme Court justice, I've told 'em how and I've done it, not just talking about it. I did it in changing the rules of the Senate. It'll have to be done again."
Reid added, "They mess with the Supreme Court, it'll be changed just like that, in my opinion. So I've set that up. I feel very comfortable with that."
In 2013, the Democrat-controlled Senate under Reid's leadership passed the nuclear option for executive branch and lower-court nominees. The move was done in the face of Republican filibusters of nominations put forth by President Barack Obama.
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