President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, reached enough votes in the Senate Friday to be confirmed as an associate justice on the Supreme Court.
Vice President Pence is presiding over the vote in his role as president of the Senate. A handful of Democrats have said they’ll join Republicans in voting “yes” on Gorsuch -- West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitcamp and Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly. All three are moderate Democrats from conservative states.
It’s a simple up-or-down simple majority vote. On Thursday, Senate Republicans successfully invoked the so-called “nuclear option,” effectively terminating the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees.
The rules change came after Senate Democrats successfully blocked his nomination with the filibuster in place. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, then moved to change the rules so that the 60-vote threshold to advance Supreme Court nominations is now eliminated.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, had attempted to delay the effort to change the rules until after the two-week congressional recess, but failed to secure enough votes to proceed that way. He also tried to adjourn until the evening, but was also unsuccessful.
Under the new rules, the Senate took a simple majority procedural vote to limit debate to 30 hours on the nomination.