What is the nuclear option? Roadmap to how Gorsuch confirmation could play out

by Chad Pergram | foxnews  |  published on April 3, 2017

nuclear
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared on “Fox News Sunday” that the Senate is “going to confirm Judge Gorsuch this week.”

Embedded in McConnell’s remark is a gambit to deploy the “nuclear option” to confirm the Supreme Court nominee. After all, it’s about the numbers. So if McConnell doesn’t have the cooperation of eight Democrats alongside all 52 Republicans to garner 60 votes and overcome a filibuster, he’s willing to do something drastic to promote Gorsuch.

So what exactly is the nuclear option?

Though it is sometimes referred to as a rule change, it’s actually a change in Senate precedent.

The Senate currently has 44 rules. But altering those rules requires 67 votes. So with only 52 Republican senators, McConnell can’t switch Senate rules. But he could set a new precedent.

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  • Bob S

    I was watching the confirmation hearings…. can you believe the dems are saying they won’t vote for Gorsuch because, when asked, he said in cases before the judiciary, he would base decisions on the law and legal precedent, not his own opinions.
    I guess they’d prefer he make law from the bench based on whatever mood he’s in on the particular day, much like the liberal judges do all across the country.
    They think the law should change depending on who you are or what your circumstance is…..a nation of men, not a nation of laws.

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