Republicans ram through Supreme Court pick

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The move came after Democrats voted not to end their filibuster on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.

After enough Democrats held their position on filibustering, against the pleas Wednesday by Bennet, GOP members voted to change the rules requiring a simple majority to break a filibuster.

The Democrats' filibuster of Gorsuch, a thoroughly noncontroversial nominee, seemed to make little sense unless they thought that a handful of Republican senators wouldn't go along with the Harry Reid option, leaving the nominee stranded with fewer than 60 votes. Rather than voting on Gorsuch, he said, "We should be celebrating the one-year anniversary of Merrick Garland on the Supreme Court". Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, who is now the Senate majority leader, touted the filibuster as "the last legislative check for political minorities and small states".

McConnell accused Democrats of forcing his hand by trying to filibuster a highly qualified nominee in Gorsuch, 49, a 10-year veteran of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver with a consistently conservative record.

While almost everyone has been saying that Judge Neil Gorsuch's confirmation was inevitable, I was anxious.

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The confrontation could reshape the Supreme Court for generations.

But time and time again, Gorsuch evaded, ignored, and side-stepped every question until Democrats shifted their thinking based on his rulings as well as his preponderance of non-answers to crucial legal questions. The bills prevented the governor from appointing a majority of members to the state board of elections or 100 county boards of elections; reduced the number of public employees the governor could appoint from 1,500 to 425 and prevented the governor from appointing members to boards of state universities; and made it harder for the state Supreme Court, which has a 4-3 Democratic majority, to review future challenges to election-law changes. But Republican Presidents nominate justices who are far outside the mainstream. On social media, at least, they thanked the Democratic senator they believe set the stage for this event four years ago: former Sen.

Republicans have 52 votes in the Senate, enough to confirm Gorsuch, probably on Friday. No Republican has said they oppose McConnell's decision, so the rules change is expected to pass along party lines. The first Senate vote to end debate on his nomination failed with a vote of 55-45.

They invoked the "nuclear option" after Democrats used a tactic known as a filibuster to block the nominee.

But Democrats cited a variety of reasons for their votes to bar a cutoff of debate on Gorsuch. And indeed, liberal activists have pressed Democratic senators hard on the Gorsuch nomination, threatening some with primary opponents if they voted to allow a quick vote for Gorsuch.

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"I'm afraid we're on a slippery slope", McCain told reporters Tuesday.

Three Democrats joined Republicans in voting for cloture on the final vote.

The Democrats have legitimate reasons to oppose Neil Gorsuch, the least of which is the Republicans' decision previous year to not even provide nomination hearings for Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's original choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.

A single-party filibuster has never successfully blocked a Supreme Court nomination.

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