Senate republicans move forward with ‘nuclear option’ to advance Neil Gorsuch confirmation

WASHINGTON D.C. (KUSI) — Senate republicans have triggered the nuclear option to move forward with President Trump’s supreme court pick.

After a democratic filibuster victory, senate republicans moved forward with the controversial so-called ‘nuclear option’ to break the filibuster.

The move effectively changes the rules of the senate with a series of procedural steps. It allows for a simple majority, making it so that they only need 51 votes, rather than 60, to advance judge Neil Gorsuch to a final confirmation vote. The rules change is known as the "nuclear option" because of its far-reaching implications. It’s a move that has never been used before for a supreme court nominee. It’s a change many lawmakers lamented could lead to an even more polarized senate, court and country.

Senator John McCain believes this option could have long, far reaching effects on the United States moving forward.

"I think it’s a bad, a very sad day for the senate because we have now destroyed 200 years of tradition of requiring 60 votes, which meaning that you have to have bipartisan approach to these issues and these appointments and I think that we’re on a slippery slope."I think that it’s exciting that we’re going to have someone on the supreme court who says that their own personal views are not the way they will make judgments. That they will make judgments based on the law. I think if you come from the right or from the left, I think we should all be excited that we’re going to have a supreme court justice who is going to adhere to the law, to the rule of law."

Republicans accuse democrats of forcing their hands by trying to filibuster a nominee as highly qualified as Gorsuch. Critics on both sides of the aisle say invoking the nuclear option will permanently put the senate on a more partisan path. A vote on Gorsuch’s confirmation is expected Friday morning at 8:30 , and he could then be sworn in time to take his seat on the court later this month and hear the final cases of the term.

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