In US Senate clashes over Trump Supreme Court pick

Henrietta Brewer
April 6, 2017

This would have big political ramifications.

"Rather than change the rule, change the nominee".

"Republicans aren't going to be played for suckers and chumps", Cotton said on the Senate floor.

Republicans say Gorsuch is well qualified for the job and that there is no principled reason to oppose him. "McConnell broke 230 years of Senate precedent, didn't even allow Judge [Merrick] Garland a hearing or a vote", Schumer said Tuesday. A divided Senate Judiciary Committee backed Gorsuch, Monday, April 3, 2017.

Democrats can block ending debate - what's known as a filibuster - by mustering 41 votes against it, which they are expected to be able to do.

But the vote on that motion will not come before Thursday, and it requires 60 senators to pass.

So what can Republicans do about it?

Portman says he hopes Gorsuch gets confirmed without Senate having to resort to the "nuclear" option. This time, they are prepared to use the first-ever partisan filibuster for a Supreme Court nominee.

"I think it was a dark day in the history of the United States Senate", U.S. Senator, John McCain (R-AZ) said. Vice President Mike Pence will be standing by to break a tie if not all 52 Republicans back the nuclear option, which is possible.

Why is it called the nuclear option?

Merkley's speech won't delay the debate or vote on Gorsuch, who was nominated to the position Republicans held open for almost a year to block former President Barack Obama from choosing a replacement for conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016.

"Before that is when the DC Court of Appeals' three vacancies could not be filled because the Republicans wouldn't consider any nominations", Cardin said. "It is imperative we have a functioning Senate where the rights of the minority are protected regardless of which party is in power at the time".

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer, leading the filibuster effort, said it was the Republicans who bear responsibility for the crisis.

Keep in mind that in December 2010, former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders spoke for more than eight hours to protest against a tax-cut deal that president Barack Obama made with Republicans.

Mr McConnell has placed the blame for the current situation on the Democrats. "I'm absolutely outraged about what the Democrats are doing", Alexander said, again without directly answering the question.

Other reports by iNewsToday