Sen. Merkley ends 15-hour speech against Gorsuch

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Those Democrats would again vote no. Some of the more liberal justices are among the oldest on the court, so more court openings could pop up. If everything plays out as expected, McConnell would ultimately win on that point - and it would clear the way for Gorsuch's approval.

The nuclear option in Senate procedure dates from 2013, when Democrats, angered by Republican opposition to then-President Barack Obama's nominees voted to end filibusters of executive branch and lower-court nominees.

Voting on that motion requires yet another day of waiting. "That hasn't been the case with Judge Gorsuch - he's been granted meetings, hearings, a committee vote, and he will soon receive a vote from the full Senate".

The threshold "is now a majority".

In a 2016 interview with the Review-Journal, Reid said he was forced to change the rule, which resulted in seating 98 judges.

Leaders of both parties on Tuesday appeared resigned to the fate that Republicans will invoke the so-called nuclear option and eliminate the filibuster for nominees to the nation's highest court.

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"No one is forcing Senator McConnell to change the rules". "We didn't hear two words in the long speech of Senator McConnell: Merrick Garland". Some senators have predicted that it will later be applied to legislation.

Merkley was one of the first Democrats earlier this year to pledge that his party would mount the filibuster, meaning he was confident they could get the 41 votes needed to sustain it.

In 1975 senators lowered the threshold to cut off debate to 60 from 67.

But McConnell said there is no appetite for that and that it will not happen under his leadership. "We all understand that's what makes the Senate the Senate".

The United State Senate has just voted to use the "nuclear option" to proceed toward the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. "They seem determined to head into the abyss and taking the country with them". The tactic if invoked would lower the confirmation threshold to a filibuster-proof simple majority of 51 votes in the 100-member Senate rather than the 60 votes now needed to stop delaying tactics by opponents.

This is great for Republicans if, say, Justice Ginsberg keels over, but not as great if Clarence Thomas retires from the bench.

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"They can choose to go nuclear or they can sit down with Democrats to preserve the grand traditions of this body", Schumer said. Republicans defended him, accusing Democrats of trying to block Gorsuch out of frustration over Trump's election victory.

With a simple majority vote the new standard, Democrats will then be powerless to stop Trump's next potential nominee.

Some worry that this latest effort to change the rules will further degrade any remaining comity that exists in the Senate.

"If it's necessary in order to get him confirmed, I may have to vote that way, but I certainly don't want to", Collins told reporters Monday night... There can not be two sets of standards: "one for the nominees of the Democratic president and another for the nominee of a Republican president".

To be sure, Gorsuch holds views that we and many Americans find wrong-headed, including his approach to worker safety and defense of President Bush's aggressive interrogation techniques. Asked if he has the votes to do that, given misgivings voiced by many Republicans, McConnell answered simply, "Yes".

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