After Senate Democrats lead a partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee for the first time in history when the cloture vote failed 55 to 45 (60 votes were needed). The vote to retain the filibuster failed 48 to 52 so the nuclear option was then used to allow a simple majority for cloture. A motion to limit debate to 30 hours passed 55 to 45, and Judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation vote on his nomination to the Supreme Court is expected to take place Friday evening. This move ensures that future nominees to the Supreme Court who command majority support in the Senate will be confirmed.
The 60-vote hurdle for all presidential nominations other than Supreme Court had already been eliminated by Senate Democrats in 2013, when then-Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) employed the same “nuclear” procedure. Several Democrats, including Reid himself and vice presidential nominee U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-Virginia), explicitly said in 2016 that Democrats would not hesitate to extend the simple-majority principle to nominations to the Supreme Court, if Republicans ever tried to filibuster the Supreme Court nominee of a Democratic president.
“For decades, liberal senators and interest groups have attacked Republican judicial nominees with procedural and political weapons that Republicans have been slow to match,” National Right to Life Senior Policy Advisor Douglas Johnson said. “We commend Senate Republicans for today’s decisive action to restore parity to the judicial confirmation process.”
National Right to Life President Carol Tobias added, “All too often, our efforts to protect unborn children and other vulnerable humans have been overridden by judges who believe they have a right to impose their own policy preferences. Judge Gorsuch appears to believe that judges are constrained to enforce the text and original intent of constitutional provisions, and on all other matters should defer to democratically elected lawmakers – this heartens us, and frightens those who have relied on activist judges to impose their radical pro-abortion policies.”
“It is unfortunate the obstruction of the left ignores the voice of the people and gridlocks the Senate, forcing the hand of Leader McConnell to take necessary and constitutional action to end their chaos. It is truly disappointing the radical left is sinking to a new low by initiating the first partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee in U.S. history,” Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America, said.
“The left needs to respect the American peoples’ choice in November and start listening to their constituents instead of special interests,” Nance added. “This partisan obstructionism at every turn is beneath the dignity of the Senate. It is time for the left to come back from the fringe so the Senate can move forward and pass legislation.”
“We thank Majority Leader McConnell for invoking the constitutional option to end Senate Democrats’ unprecedented partisan filibuster of Neil Gorsuch,” said Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser. “This step was necessary because Democrat Senators, urged on by the extreme pro-abortion lobby led by NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood, were determined to obstruct this exceptionally qualified nominee. The stage is now set for Gorsuch to be confirmed with or without pro-abortion ideologues like Senator Schumer, who have only hurt vulnerable Democrats up for re-election in 2018 by standing in Gorsuch’s way and encouraging others to do so. Susan B. Anthony List has been rallying the pro-life grassroots behind Judge Gorsuch’s nomination for months and now we look forward to his speedy confirmation.”