After three grueling days of testimony that ranged in subject matter from abortion to interpretation of the constitution and even whether Judge Gorsuch would rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck (he didn’t answer), the Senate is set up for a contentious vote over confirming President Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court.
Democrats have a tough road ahead, lacking the votes to outright stop the confirmation but facing mounting pressure from grassroots groups to block his nomination. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has said that if Democrats choose to filibuster the vote, they will employ the ‘nuclear option’ and change the rules so that a simple majority of 51 ‘yes’ votes is all they’ll need, instead of a 60 vote supermajority. With 52 Republicans in the Senate Caucus, they’d have no problem reaching that simple majority. McConnell has said he plans for Gorsuch to be confirmed by the time the Senate goes on recess for Easter on April 7th, adding the clock to the list of hurdles for Democrats, who won’t have much time for debate when the nomination hits the Senate floor April 3rd.
What are the strategies being employed by each party? What do Dems get out of filibustering if GOP is going to go nuclear if they do? Is that strategic? How will GOP react?
Symone Sanders, Democratic strategist with Priorities USA, a D.C.-based political consulting firm, and former national press secretary for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign; she tweets @SymoneDSanders