The overall Democratic obstruction is expected to compel GOP leaders to eliminate a 60-vote requirement for Supreme Court nominees and allow confirmation of Gorsuch with a simple majority vote.
The partisan standoff underscores the sharp polarization that has seized Congress less than three months into Trump’s presidency. Senate Democrats angered by Trump’s policies – and McConnell’s refusal to consider Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee last year – have united against Gorsuch, clinching enough votes to block him earlier this week.It also heralds a potentially more contentious climate in the Senate, which traditionally has allowed the minority party to exert a powerful voice in debate over key nominations and legislation – unlike in the House.Senate Democrats changed the rules in 2013 to permit executive-branch nominees and federal judges to be approved by a simple majority, with the critical exception of Supreme Court selections.
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