On Thursday, as Democrats planned a filibuster against the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and fellow Republicans used the nuclear option to confirm Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia.
Democrats had enough votes, 55-45, to secure a filibuster against ending debate and move to the nomination.
McConnell, who voted with Democrats against ending debate and moving on, called for a “point of order,” and asked for debate to end on the nomination.
Republican Senator Deb Fischer (NE), who is the acting presiding officer of the Senate, denied McConnell’s motion and so McConnell triggered the nuclear option and called for a majority vote of the Senate to overturn her decision.
The vote of 52-48 broke the Democrat’s filibuster.
McConnell’s actions are a precedent set by former Senator Harry Reid, though Reid used the nuclear option with lower court judge nominations.
Senator Chuck Schumer spoke just before the nuclear option was invoked.
“Wherever we place the start of this long, twilight battle over judicial confirmations, we are now at the end point,” he said. “When the dust settles, make no mistake about it. It is the Republicans who have changed the rules on Supreme Court nominations.”
Of course, Democrats have been just fine with doing things like this for a long time. Now, they are getting a taste of their own medicine.
“Today’s vote is the culmination of over 30 years of abuse and obstruction by Democrats in the judicial confirmation process,” said Leonard Leo, an adviser to President Donald Trump on judicial confirmations. “Republicans have restored the long-standing tradition of the Senate of having a simple majority, up or down vote for Supreme Court nominees. The Constitution requires no more than that and the American people expect no less from the Senate.”
There was then debate which took place on Friday followed by the vote on Judge Gorsuch.
With a vote of 54-45, Judge Neil Gorsuch became the 113th justice to the Supreme Court. He replaces the late Antonin Scalia, who died in February 2016. His death was a shock, not only that it occurred, but that no autopsy was performed when it appeared he died under suspicious circumstances. In fact, it appeared to be JFK all over again.
President Trump said, “As a deep believer in the rule of law, Judge Gorsuch will serve the American people with distinction as he continues to faithfully and vigorously defend our Constitution.”
The Senate would not even consider Barack Hussein Obama Soetoro Sobarkah’s nomination of Merrick Garland last year.