Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation vote, expected to be held in the Senate later this week, could have far-reaching legislative consequences well beyond the make up of the Supreme Court. With Democrats vowing to “fight tooth and nail,” as Chuck Schumer would say, to filibuster Gorsuch, Republicans are likely to pursue the “nuclear option” to secure his nomination, a move that would eliminate the 60-vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees.
But several senators are warning that bypassing the Senate’s filibuster rules for Gorsuch’s vote, a move that Democrats utilized multiple times as well, is a slippery slope that would inevitably lead to calls to eliminate the filibuster for legislation as well so that bills could pass with a simple majority. Such a change would remove the last vestige of the Senate’s long tradition of protecting minority views, turning it into a smaller version of the House and fundamentally transforming the way laws are made.
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