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Senate 'Nuclear Option' Invoked In Gorsuch Confirmation Vote

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Senate Republicans successfully invoked the so-called “nuclear option” Thursday, eliminating the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. This clears the way for President Trump’s nominee, Neil Gorsuch, to be confirmed as an associate justice to the high court.

The rules change came after Senate Democrats successfully blocked his nomination with the filibuster in place. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, then moved to change the rules so that the 60-vote threshold to advance Supreme Court nominations is now eliminated.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, had attempted to delay the effort to change the rules until after the two-week congressional recess, but failed to secure enough votes to proceed that way. He also tried to adjourn until the evening, but was also unsuccessful.

Under the new rules, the Senate will then take a simple majority procedural vote to limit debate to 30 hours on the nomination.

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