Senate Democrats have secured enough votes to launch a filibuster of Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court, giving Republicans the motivation to abolish cloture votes on high court nominees — the so-called nuclear option.
Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware became the 41st Democrat to commit to blocking the nomination. Senate rules require the chamber to hold a procedural vote closing debate on a nomination.
The vote requires the nod of at least 60 senators — therefore a group of 41 senators can block the Senate from taking action on a particular matter.
Coons told reporters that he was reluctant to support the filibuster, and hoped the 2 parties will broker a deal to avoid abolishing it for Supreme Court nominees. “The principles that have defined the Senate are crumbling, and we are poised to hasten that this week,” he said.
Senator John McCain was quoted as saying a deal probably can’t be reached, and he has not been contacted by any Democrats about negotiating one.