Chuck Schumer thinks he has the votes to prevent 8 Democratic Senators from voting for cloture on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch, effectively creating a filibuster:

“After careful deliberation I have concluded that I cannot support Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court,” Mr. Schumer said, citing concerns over Judge Gorsuch’s record on workers’ rights and his degree of independence, adding, “My vote will be no, and I urge my colleagues to do the same.”

Judge Gorsuch must earn the support of at least eight Democrats to break a filibuster — a threshold he is not on track to meet, at least so far, according to interviews and internal party discussions.

Republicans are calling the bluff, with even contrarian Lindsey Graham threatening to go nuclear:

“Whatever it takes to get him on the court, I will do,” Graham said, after being asked about using the nuclear option.

“If my Democratic colleagues choose to filibuster this guy, then they will be telling me that they don’t accept the election results — 306 electoral votes — that they’re trying to delegitimize President Trump,” Graham continued. “And that’s not right, and we would have to change the rules to have the Supreme Court like everybody else.”

Graham said Gorsuch did an “incredible” job answering Democrats’ questions during his hearings this week

“My Democratic colleagues have tried every way they can to rattle this guy, and he’s done incredible. … If they filibuster this guy, it is because politics has taken over reason, and it would be a shame,” Graham added.

The other half of the dynamic duo, John McCain, also wants to drop the bomb:

Arizona senator John McCain hinted Thursday afternoon that he’s ready to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch with a simple majority if Senate Democrats take the unprecedented step of filibustering a Supreme Court nominee. Asked what Republicans should do if 41 or more Democrats try to block Gorsuch, McCain told THE WEEKLY STANDARD: “I think we’ll address it when it happens. None of us want to do it, but we’re going to confirm Gorsuch.”

Forcing Republicans to go nuclear for a highly qualified nominee like Gorsuch would be ultimately stupid for Democrats. Since there is likely to be at least one more, maybe more, openings during the Trump administration, going nuclear and eliminating the filibuster would clear the way for nominees the Democrats would find even more objectionable. There would be no reason for Republicans to hold back at all.


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