Senate Democrats blocked Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court on a 55-45 vote Thursday, marking the first successful filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee in nearly five decades. Just four Democrats voted to advance Gorsuch’s nomination, which fell short of the necessary 60-vote threshold.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is now expected to invoke the “nuclear option,” which would change Senate rules with just a simple majority to eliminate the 60-vote barrier for Supreme Court nominees. The move will permanently end another vestige of bipartisanship amid the war over President Donald Trump’s first pick for the high court.
The so-called “nuclear option” would ensure that all future Supreme Court nominees would no longer need 60 votes to advance in the Senate — the culmination of a deeply bitter battle over the judiciary that has been escalating between the two parties for more than a decade.
“Bad day for Democracy,” fumed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) as he entered the Senate chamber.