Senate Republicans voted 52-48 to pass the “nuclear option” rule change today that would allow confirmation of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee over Democratic opposition.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell started the rule-change process after a 55-45 vote, with all but four Democrats voting no, fell short of the 60 needed to advance Gorsuch’s nomination.
The “nuclear option” allows Republicans to revise Senate rules with a simple majority vote, rather than the 60 typically required. McConnell has said he had no choice but to change Senate rules for Gorsuch and future high court picks because Democrats were ignoring a tradition of allowing nominees to proceed to simple-majority confirmation without a filibuster.
Members of both parties fear the rule change will discourage bipartisanship in government and allow for more ideologically extreme justices to be nominated for the court.