The Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines 11-9 Monday to advance SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch to a full senate vote, which is expected to occur Friday.
However, Senate Democrats are using every tactic they have to filibuster Gorsuch’s confirmation.
On Monday, Democrats secured enough votes to block Gorsuch’s advancement, prompting Republican leaders to threaten a “nuclear option,” NPR reports.
“If we have to, we will change the rules,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said during Monday’s Judiciary Committee meeting. “It looks like we’re going to have to.”
“Going nuclear,” uses a reinterpretation of a long-standing Senate rule for Supreme Court nominees, changing the 60-vote threshold to a 51 majority vote.
Democrats who voiced intentions to vote against Gorsuch during Monday’s Senate Judiciary Committee are listed as follows: Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-California), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-Delaware).
After, the Senate will bring forth a procedural vote to end debate on Gorsuch’s nomination (also known as a “cloture vote”).
Since 41 Democrats are expected to vote against cloture during that point in the process, a motion to move forward to a final vote will ultimately fail. In response, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would then be expected to change the voting procedures and advance the nuclear option.
After the nuclear option is invoked, the Senate floor will be open to 30 hours of debate–in which Gorsuch would ultimately see support from 52 Republican Senators and at least three Democrats, crossing the threshold of 51 votes needed for confirmation.