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Democrats Block Trump’s Supreme Court Pick

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Democrats blocked US President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee with a historic filibuster on the Senate floor on Thursday, but their victory was short-lived.

Republicans prepared to strike back with a Senate rules change that would put Judge Neil Gorsuch on the court anyway and eliminate the filibuster for all future Supreme Court candidates, France24 reported.

The vote was 55-45, short of the 60 needed to advance Gorsuch over procedural hurdles to a final vote. All 44 Democrats and independents voted against advancing Gorsuch, and for procedural reasons, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cast his vote with them to enable the vote to be reconsidered.

McConnell prepared to make procedural maneuvers to lower the vote threshold to advance Gorsuch’s nomination from the current 60 votes to a mere majority in the 100-member Senate.

Under the new rules, which the 52-member Republican majority can ratify despite bitter objections from the Democrats, another vote will be held to allow Gorsuch to move forward to final passage.

He is expected to be confirmed on Friday and take his seat on the court later this month, in time to hear the final cases of the term.

The maneuvering played out with much hand-wringing from all sides about the future of the Senate, as well as unusually bitter accusations and counter-accusations as each side blamed the other for bringing the Senate to this point.

 

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