Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court made history today when Senate Democrats led the first successful filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee. Though the vote to end the debate over Gorsuch so that Senators could vote on his confirmation was bipartisan, Republican leadership was still forced to alter Senate rules in order to ensure Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation.
As of today, the Senate had required 60 votes to stop a filibuster. By using the “nuclear option,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell forced a rule change so only 51 votes were needed to the stop the stall tactic. The vote to confirm will likely happen on Friday.
“Senate Republicans did the right thing by changing the rules in order to ensure Judge Gorsuch’s nomination,” said Autumn Leva, policy director for Family Policy Alliance. “Judge Gorsuch repeatedly demonstrated his faithfulness to the rule of law and the Constitution while being grilled by Senate democrats during confirmation hearings. He is an objective, constitutionally minded judge we need serving in our highest Court.”
If confirmed, Gorsuch will serve in the seat vacated by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Many Democrats who voted against confirmation today were part of a unanimous vote to confirm Gorsuch when he was nominated to an appellate court.
“Though we don’t yet know how Judge Gorsuch would rule on a particular case,” Leva said, “it’s encouraging that his writings and lower court rulings have already affirmed that business owners don’t have to give up their religious freedom in order to earn a living, and that human life is sacred.”