(Breitbart) The Senate Judiciary Committee, in a party-line 11-9 vote Monday, has passed Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace conservative stalwart Justice Antonin Scalia, setting up a full Senate confirmation vote for April 7.
The vote sets the stage for a clash on Senate rules for Supreme Court nominees. At least forty-one Senate Democrats, now including Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), whose state President Trump won by over twenty points, and Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA), who announced their opposition to Gorsuch at the hearing, have now expressed their intention to initiate the first partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee in American history.
Despite Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), who told the Colorado Independent that he will not filibuster his fellow Coloradan Gorsuch, and three Democrats who have said they will support Gorsuch, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) now appears to have the votes needed to prevent a vote for cloture and a full Senate vote on Gorsuch’s confirmation under current rules.
Senate Democrats changed Senate rules in 2013 to allow a simple majority to trigger a full Senate vote on non-Supreme Court nominees. Increasing numbers of Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), appear poised to use the same “Constitutional Option” for Supreme Court nominees in order to ensure Gorsuch’s confirmation.
During Monday’s final Judiciary Committee meeting on Gorsuch, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) reiterated Republican willingness to revert to the constitutional option. “We’ve had one successful filibuster of a Supreme Court Nominee, that was that was bipartisan with Abe Fortas. By the end of the week, that will still be the case,” he told the committee with a smile….