Republicans have executed the so called “nuclear option” in the Senate, likely changing the way the Senate will function on judicial nominations forever as it would be hard to imagine any majority party rolling the change back in the future.
Now, a vote to end a filibuster of Supreme Court nominee will require only 51 votes instead of the current 60.
[Scroll Down For Video]
According to a report from CNN:
The Senate Thursday triggered the so-called “nuclear option” that allowed Republicans to break a Democratic filibuster of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.
The Senate is now expected to vote to confirm Gorsuch Friday.
The controversial changes to Senate rules, made along partisan lines, allows filibusters of Supreme Court picks to be broken with only 51 votes rather than 60.
It’s a situation loaded with nuance, procedural twists and Senate history — not to mention a spot on the nation’s highest court — and a standoff that reflects a peak in polarization following a deeply divisive presidential election.
The change was carried out by a series of carefully executed actions that allowed the rule to be changed during a session of the Senate earlier today.
The move follows a 2013 change, voted on by the then majority party Democrats that lowered the threshold on executive branch appointments other than Supreme Court nominations.
The change in the rule could be especially timely for Republicans as it is expected that President Trump will get to choose at least one more, if not two, Supreme Court Justices during his tenure in the White House. This rule change will make those subsequent nominations go much more smoothly and could encourage the president to nominate more conservative candidates going forward.