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Dem senator says he's open to preserving filibuster in Gorsuch debate

Dem senator says he's open to preserving filibuster in Gorsuch debate

He noted that the Senate, under McConnell's guidance, refused previous year to consider Democratic former President Barack Obama's nomination of appellate judge Merrick Garland to fill the same high court vacancy that Trump has selected Gorsuch to fill.

Democrats technically have enough votes in the GOP-controlled chamber to block the appellate judge's confirmation through a filibuster.

TWS: So if 41 Republicans said "no" to Judge Garland, you would've picked a different [Supreme Court] nominee? Harry Reid's (D., Nev.) old spokesperson, Jim Manley, about the filibuster procedure and whether he supports the Democrats filibustering Gorsuch's nomination, noting that Reid eliminated filibusters for most nominations by presidents in 2013.

But McConnell is expected to move to change the long-standing rules and forbid filibusters for Supreme Court nominees, then hold a confirmation vote on Friday requiring a simple majority.

"That obviously is not a tenable standard for advice and consent, and that is the reason why if the Democrats persist in this foolish filibuster, the Senate majority will have no choice, but return to the standard that has prevailed for over two centuries in the Senate, which is confirming Supreme Court justices by a majority vote". Trump in January nominated Gorsuch, a conservative appeals court judge from Colorado, to the lifetime job on the high court. Al Franken, D-Minn., questioned the Republican side as the panel met to advance the nomination of President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, Monday, on Capitol Hill in Washington. "I can not vote exclusively to protect an institution", Sen.

Gorsuch, 49, cleared the Judiciary Committee on a party line 11-9 vote on Monday, and the nuclear option showdown is expected on Thursday. But it would force the Senate Republicans to go "nuclear" and take away the power of the filibuster - the process by which a minority party can put a check on the majority, if that party cannot get 60 votes to move legislation or appointments forward.

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It would lower the vote threshold from the current 60 to a simple majority in the 100-member Senate.

The long-term consequences of the coming confrontation could be profound, as the rules change Republicans intend to enact would apply to future Supreme Court nominees as well, allowing them to be voted onto the court without any input from the minority party.

Following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, Republicans challenged President Barack Obama to nominate a moderate judge they could confirm.

Republicans have said Gorsuch is well qualified for the job and is one of the most distinguished federal judges on the bench.

Gorsuch will be confirmed "and he should be", John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican, said during Monday's debate.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said: "What the majority leader did to Merrick Garland by denying him a hearing and a vote is even worse than a filibuster".


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