Senate Republicans 'Go Nuclear' to Approve Gorsuch for US Supreme Court
Republicans in the US Senate have extended the so-called nuclear option to the confirmation process for the US Supreme Court, scrapping a 100-year-old rule to overcome the Democrats’ resistance to President Donald Trump’s nominee, Neil Gorsuch.
The “nuclear option” – overriding a rule or procedure with a simple majority of 51 senators – was invoked after the minority Democrats cast 45 votes against cloture, filibustering Gorsuch’s nomination. Trump nominated Gorsuch to fill the vacancy left by last February’s passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
After extensive hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democrats declared that Gorsuch was not a “mainstream candidate,” and that they could not support him.
“There cannot be two sets of standards, one for the nominees of a Democratic president and another for the nominees of a Republican president,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) declared on the Senate floor on Thursday morning.
“Few outside New York or San Francisco believe Ruth Bader Ginsburg is in the mainstream, but Neil Gorsuch is not,” he added.
“This will be the first and the last partisan filibuster of the Supreme Court nomination,” said McConnell.
The motion to overrule the cloture requirement was approved along party lines shortly after noon on Thursday.
Democrats argued that their conduct was fully justified, given the Republicans’ refusal to give even a hearing to Judge Merrick Garland, who had been nominated last year by President Barack Obama.
“We believe what Republicans did to Merrick Garland was worse than a filibuster,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York).
“The nuclear option was used by Senator McConnell when he stopped Merrick Garland. What we’re facing today is the fallout,” said Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Illinois).
Schumer attempted to dodge the nuclear option by proposing a delay to the proceedings until after Easter recess. The vote failed along party lines, with 48 votes in favor and 52 opposed.
Introduced in 1917 and modified in 1975, cloture requires 60 votes – three fifths of the Senate – to agree to end a debate. No such rule exists in the House of Representatives.
Read more: https://www.rt.com/usa/383747-gorsuch-nuclear-option-senate/