Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer needs 41 Democrats to maintain a filibuster. Here’s an ominous sign that they might get there: Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida announced that he would join Schumer’s filibuster. Back in 2006, Nelson was instrumental in breaking a filibuster of now-Justice Samuel Alito.
If Democrats successfully filibuster Gorsuch, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has heavily telegraphed that he will invoke the so-called nuclear option to unilaterally change Senate rules with a simple majority vote. And Republicans are confident they’ll have the votes to do it, even as wary as many senators are about forever altering the deliberative nature of the chamber.
“We’re not going to be treated by a double standard,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said in an interview on Monday. “We’ll give our Democratic colleagues a chance to see if they provide the 60 votes; if they do, it’s a moot point. And if they don’t, as I said before, we will confirm him one way or the other.”