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What is ‘Nuclear Option’? Republicans Overcome Democrats’ Neil Gorsuch Filibuster

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Washington: Democrats’ filibuster of Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil M. Gorsuch, was comprehensively beaten when Senate Republican invoked the nuclear option. There is no denying that many among the Democrats were sure that wouldn’t be able to stop the nomination. Nonetheless they tried, though four Democrats too voted for Neil M. Gorsuch.

Later as a matter of fact, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced to the dismay of democrats that Neil M. Gorsuch will be confirmed to the Supreme Court regardless of Democrats’ moves and objections. Now no one is in doubt about not just his nomination, but the apparent majority of conservatives in the Supreme Court.

The nuclear option, despite being on the table, was not expected to be used at this juncture. The nuclear option is actually going to allow Republicans to end the Democratic filibuster with a simple majority rather than the traditional 60 votes. It is going to be used many more times in the coming months and years.

Nuclear option has been used many a times in the past. It is a permanent change to the Senate rules that allows for a simple majority of 51 votes to be required for confirmation instead of 60, the supermajority typically needed to pass legislation. It wouldn’t be the first time the “nuclear option” was used, however. In 1917, the option was first utilized to amend filibuster rules in the Senate and then again in 1975. The last time it was used was in 2013. Despite its use in the past, it was rarely invoked and so the few instances we have of it till now.

A Los Angeles Times report while talking about the acrimonious debate on the appointment of Neil Gorsuch says, “The bitter, history-making showdown over Gorsuch, a judge on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, fueled an already toxic political environment in the Senate, where partisanship and gridlock has been growing…Trump’s nomination has become a referendum on the new administration. Republicans are working furiously to secure a legislative victory for Trump’s first 100 days while Democrats are digging in to fight a White House under an investigative cloud for its campaign’s possible ties to Russia”.

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