Supreme Court Nominee

Senators Look to Move Past Nuclear Option
Bipartisanship touted when they return from recess

Maine Sen. Susan Collins said lawmakers should move on to an issue with bipartisan support, such as improving infrastructure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senators are getting some time away from the nation’s capital for the next week and half, following a tense battle over the Supreme Court. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell invoked the so-called nuclear option last Thursday to effectively change the Senate rules and lower the threshold for ending debate on high court nominees. While the move raised questions about whether the chamber had reached a partisan point of no return, senators were hopeful they could still come together on other issues.

Nuclear Option Deployed in Quiet Senate Chamber
Gravity of situation tempers reactions amid historic moment

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gives a thumbs-up on Thursday after the Senate invoked the "nuclear option" to allow for a simple majority vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Thursday was a day for the Senate history books, but the ultimate change of the chamber’s rules for ending debate on Supreme Court justices was met with a quiet resignation.

Just after 12:30 p.m., the Senate clerk read the tally: 52 in the negative, 48 in the affirmative, overruling the presiding officer’s ruling that cloture, or ending debate, on Supreme Court justices required 60 votes.

McConnell Pledges Legislative Filibuster Is Here to Stay
Majority leader says there is no sentiment to change debate rules on legislation

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he will not change the legislative filibuster. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell guaranteed Tuesday that there will not be an effort to change the debate rules surrounding legislation, even as senators are hurtling towards a rule change on Supreme Court nominees.

“There’s no sentiment to change the legislative filibuster,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters at his weekly press conference. Asked if he was committing to not changing the rules to end debate on legislation while he is the GOP leader, McConnell said, “Correct.”

The Senate’s Era of Hard Feelings
Distrust, political pressure mire Supreme Court fight

Judge Neil Gorsuch is expected to be confirmed Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

There is no bipartisan compromise in sight as the Senate heads for a showdown over the Supreme Court that is likely to alter longstanding chamber norms and rules, thanks to a tense partisan environment and distrust resulting from past judicial battles.

Senate Democrats solidified enough votes Monday to filibuster Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court. Senate Republicans will likely deploy the so-called nuclear option to change Senate rules by a majority vote, and lower the threshold to end debate on Supreme Court nominees from 60 to a majority, so Gorsuch can overcome the filibuster.

Capitol Ink | Senate Home Opener

How Senate Republicans Will Likely Invoke the Nuclear Option
 

With 41 senators having announced they will vote against cloture on the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Senate Republicans will need to change Senate procedure in order to ensure the Colorado appeals court judge makes it to the high court. Here’s how the historic rules overhaul will likely go down when the cloture vote takes place — slated for this Thursday.

GOP Launches Neil Gorsuch Push Ahead of Votes Next Week
A committee vote is scheduled for Monday, with final confirmation on Friday

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, walks past a group calling themselves Public Advocate of the U.S., who dressed in robes and waved flags in support of Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans are heading into the final round in their effort to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

A coalition of outside groups is making their case in advertisements in key states, while other GOP supporters are appealing directly to Democratic senators to garner support for the Supreme Court nominee. The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Gorsuch’s nomination on Monday, with a final confirmation vote expected next Friday.

Nuclear Option Looms as Supreme Court Hearings Wrap Up
Senators ready to blame opposing party for any upending of Senate rules

Supreme Court Justice nominee Neil Gorsuch testifies on the second day of his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings wrapping up, senators will soon confront whether his nomination will upend Senate rules.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has not yet said  whether he would move to change Senate rules that currently require 60 votes to end debate on Gorsuch’s nomination. If eight members of the Democratic caucus do not join the 52 Republicans to move the nomination forward, McConnell could move to change the rules, lowering the threshold to a simple majority.

Capitol Ink | Gorsuch On Ice

Bennet Faces Colorado Blitz on Supreme Court Nominee
Colorado Democrat could help GOP move Neil Gorsuch’s nomination

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet introduced Judge Neil Gorsuch at his Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Michael Bennet is facing pressure to support his home state’s Supreme Court nominee not just from Republicans, but also from one of Colorado’s most popular figures, Denver Broncos great John Elway.

Shortly before the Colorado Democrat was set to introduce Judge Neil Gorsuch at his Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Monday, the appellate judge’s publicity team released a letter that the revered former quarterback and current Broncos’ general manager sent to the committee in favor of Gorsuch’s nomination.