What The 'Nuclear Option' Means For Senate, Gorsuch Nomination

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Senate Republicans successfully voted for the so-called "nuclear option" today, to force a confirmation vote on Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the United States Supreme Court.

Democrats had threatened to filibuster the nomination and Republicans did not have the customary 60 votes to end debate today. Therefore, McConnell moved to change Senate rules to effectively end the filibuster with a simple majority vote.

Democrats previously triggered the nuclear option in 2013, for lower court judges and executive branch nominees.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, "The nuclear option means the end of a long history of consensus on Supreme Court nominations. It weakens the standing of the Senate as a whole, as a check on the president's ability to shape the judiciary."


Richard Arenberg, professor in international and public affairs at Brown University and co-author of "Defending the Filibuster: The Soul of the Senate." He tweets @richarenberg.

Ron Cass, dean emeritus of Boston University School of Law.

Kent Greenfield, professor of law and law fund research scholar at Boston College Law School. He tweets @kentgreenfield1.

This segment aired on April 6, 2017.


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Kathleen McNerney was the senior producer/editor of Edify.


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