Senate begins debate on Gorsuch, headed for showdown

Senate begins debate on Gorsuch, headed for showdown

Senate begins debate on Gorsuch, headed for showdown

The rule change would decrease the required number of senators to confirm Supreme Court justices from a supermajority of 60 to a simple majority of 51.

"I think it's a dark day in the history of the United States' Senate", McCain stated. "If we were, every Supreme Court nominee would pass unanimously, 100 to zero".

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley pointed out that Democrats on his committee said the hearings were fair and they followed the same timeline as the hearings held for Obama Supreme Court appointments Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

For Republicans and Trump, Gorsuch's confirmation would be a moment of triumph, a bright spot in a troubled administration that's failed on the legislative front with the health care debacle and is under investigation by Congress and the feds over Russian Federation connections.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said the Democrats' reflexive opposition to Gorsuch "just shows there's so much pressure on them from the radical left that they really can't take the radical left on and vote.for someone of the quality of Neil Gorsuch".

The GOP, meanwhile, vows that any filibuster will lead them to the "nuclear option" - a removal of the filibuster all together in favor of straight up or down majority votes.

The shift to a 51-vote majority procedure will help only whichever party now holds a majority. It's a vote they say they don't want to make, but feel that Democrats are forcing their hand. A principle relating to this situation arose in the U.S. Senate in 1992 when then-Sen.

"Neil Gorsuch will be confirmed this week", McConnell said on CNN's "State of the Union". In 2013, when they controlled the Senate, they changed it to bar filibusters for executive branch nominees and federal judges aside from Supreme Court justices.

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A Democratic lawmaker said he's open to conversations about preserving the filibuster to prevent Republicans from using "the nuclear option" to fill a Supreme Court vacancy.

Gorsuch has spent more than a decade on the federal appeals bench in Denver where he's issued consistently conservative rulings, and he appeared on Trump's list of potential candidates partly generated by the Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation during the campaign.

The Democratic leader sets a new precedent for the Supreme Court.

He noted that the Senate, under McConnell's guidance, refused a year ago to consider Obama's nomination of appellate judge Merrick Garland to fill the same high court vacancy that Trump has selected Gorsuch to fill. Michael Bennet of Colorado said he would not vote to filibuster Gorsuch, but has not said yet whether he will back the nominee on a final confirmation vote.

In addition to Gorsuch, the Judiciary Committee is considering two other nominations - Rod Rosenstein to be deputy attorney general and Rachel Brand to be associate attorney general.

As of Friday, Gorsuch had met with 78 senators - all but some of the most conservative and liberal lawmakers whose votes are likely to be along party lines.

"I've reluctantly come to the decision after long-a lot of thought that this is absolutely the right thing to go", Manley said. Since President Trump began his term, the conservative wing's popularity has plummeted. But three first-term Democratic senators, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, Tammy Duckworth of IL and Kamala Harris of California, complained that they were unable to get a face-to-face meeting with the nominee or offered the opportunity.

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