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As Senate Democrats gained enough votes to block Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s vote on the floor with a filibuster, the Republicans are poised to blow the entire process up with the “nuclear option” that President Trump alluded to while nominating the judge. Sen. Ted Cruz (who you can see above), Sen. Lindsey Graham, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell all indicated on Monday that the GOP leaders are prepared to go “nuclear” in a fight to prevent the filibuster. In doing so, they’d pass a law that would lower the number of votes necessary to end a debate on a Supreme Court nominee from 60 to 51. As of Monday, Republicans held 55 votes, including three Democrats who have said they would cross party lines.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz delivered a short statement on Monday, chastising the Democrats for opposing the Gorsuch nomination for no reason other than revenge (presumably, after Republicans blocked Obama nominee Merrick Garland). Cruz lashed out at the Democrats for not voting on Gorsuch based on his resume, but rather voting against his nomination for political reasons:
“For those who value the Consitution and the Bill of Rights, today is one step closer to judge Neil Gorsuch being confirmed as the next Associate Justice on the Supreme Court … what we saw today is the position of the modern Democratic party, as they are opposed to Donald Trump appointing anyone to the Supreme Court.”
The irony in this is of course that just a few months ago Cruz floated the idea of blocking Hillary Clinton from nominating any Supreme Court justices when it appeared as though she was a shoo-in to win the election.
Earlier in the day, Sen. Graham also scolded the Democrats for turning the confirmation of the Supreme Court seat into a partisan exercise and asserted that the Democrats’ attempts to stand in the way of a Gorsuch vote would be ultimately fruitless:
“We will not have a successful filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee because if we have to we will change the rules, and looks like we are going to have to. I hate that. I really, really do.
On Sunday, Mitch McConnell pulled no punches during his appearance on Meet The Press, also saying the GOP will go ahead with the “nuclear option” to change Senate rules and avoid a filibuster:
“Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed this week. How that happens will really depend on what will happen with our Democratic friends.”
It’s looking more and more likely that in order to pass the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch, Republicans are going to have to effectively change House rules. Gorsuch was nominated by President Donald Trump to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, whose seat has remained open since February 2016.
(Via Fox News)