Judge Neil Gorsuch speaks as his wife Louise and President Donald Trump stand with him on stage in East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, after the president announced Judge Neil Gorsuch as his nominee for the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Judge Neil Gorsuch speaks as his wife Louise and President Donald Trump stand with him on stage in East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, after the president announced Judge Neil Gorsuch as his nominee for the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Nuclear option clears Gorsuch’s path to Supreme Court

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On April 6, Senate Republicans changed a long-standing rule of the chamber in a move coined the “nuclear option.”

Now, under Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., instead of needing a super majority of 60 votes to confirm Supreme Court nominees, Neil Gorsuch needs only a simple majority of 51 votes.

The move was in response to Senate Democrats, who blocked Gorsuch’s nomination with a filibuster.

While the change in rules has altered the nature of the Senate, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, contended in a statement released by his office that the Democrats broke new ground.

“Like 2013, Democrats broke new ground again today by conducting a partisan filibuster of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch,” Grassley said. “Republicans aren’t the ones breaking new ground here.”

— by Maria Curi